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Nexxo is using blockchain to bring underbanked and underserved businesses in emerging markets 21st Century infrastructure which will allow them to keep on growing.
One of the greatest promises of cryptocurrency and blockchain is that it can relieve financially excluded groups and individuals around the world, who by accident of birth find themselves, to varying degrees, outside of the global financial system. This may be through lack of access to financial services because the infrastructure doesn’t exist, but it can also be through denial of service to would-be customers because they don’t meet the bank’s requirements. So follows the eternal chicken-and-egg-scenario: I can’t get a loan because I don’t have enough income, I don’t have enough income because I can’t grow my business, I can’t grow my business because I can’t get a loan.
This is where NEXXO is bridging the gap, providing infrastructure to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. It is no small start-up; it has managed to establish itself quickly and effectively and the company has been growing over the last 3 years, expanding into a number of countries including Pakistan, India, Singapore as well as a number of countries in the Middle East. It has currently more than 100 employees in offices in four different countries. So, how does it work?
250 Million Globally Underbanked
The company has identified a global market consisting of over 260 million underbanked SMEs which want further assistance from banks but are not receiving it. This could be in the form of a loan, provision of electronic payments infrastructure, online commerce solutions, provision of automatic salary payments for employees, and so on. Banks require collateral and a host of other proofs before they will provide any of these things and emerging market SMEs often have a hard time meeting banks’ requirements.
Gunnar Skoog, the company’s COO explained to ToshiTimes:
“The backbone in emerging markets are the small businesses. This is where most new jobs are created and financial security and a healthy future is provided. It’s not with the big companies or government jobs.”
NEXXO acts as a liaison between SMEs and the national financial infrastructure, supplying e-payments and e-commerce solutions whilst taking care of the interaction between national institutions and finance providers; in their words Nexxo is about “real business, real money, real operations”.
And they’re proving it. Operating along with its Middle East partner QPay over the last 3 years the company has serviced over 14,800 SMEs as well as issuing over 350,000 MasterCard-backed debit cards. On the ground, that translates to small grocery stores in Pakistan being able to accept card and contactless payments as well as pay their employees by bank transfer rather than cash in hand.
The company sees it as win-win. Skoog explained:
“The central banks love us because we help them take cash out of the system, local banking partners love us because we bring deposits, Visa and MasterCard love us because we make transactions and the small business community loves us because we give them banking services where they don’t have them.”
So, what does this have to do with blockchain? Well the company is now issuing its own ERC-20 token in order to grow its own network and thereby expand into new markets. The NEXXO token is currently on pre-sale and after its launch the company will be buying them back each month in order to support the price.
NEXXO tokens will be used as compensation for the network’s miners – called Enablers – who will help the business achieve aggressive growth by growing the network. And because of the deflating supply, these should increase in value over time. Whilst the tokens will be redeemable for fiat, they will also be available to be used for discounts on online purchases.
“In 2019 we will be present in 4 new markets.” Says Skoog. “In 2020 we will double that. We are set up for aggressive growth. We are proud to see the value we bring the small business owners community in helping them grow their businesses better, faster and with a more predictable outcome.”
Alex has been putting words on paper since he was old enough to hold a pen; when he bought his first bitcoin in January 2017, those words discovered their place within crypto as well. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his special expertise lies in European cryptocurrency regulation.