Every day, billions of consumers use a virtual currency they most likely do not realize is a virtual currency: Prepaid Minutes, issued as a special purpose currency by over 300 carriers globally. The issue is that these prepaid minutes can only be used on their respective proprietary networks for either voice and/or data services (a “walled garden”). Consequently, the underbanked are limited in their access to liquid assets. Physical cash cannot easily be transferred over long distances and prepaid minutes are illiquid, i.e. lacking convertibility back into cash. The consumers stuck in this paradigm want inexpensive financial services, but traditional banks and legacy money transfer companies lack reach and affordability.
Based on international banking standards (ISO), BitMinutes solves these problems on a global basis. BitMinutes unify these proprietary currencies around a common global standard, enabling prepaid minutes transfer to 4 billion mobile accounts, and convertibility to cash as well as the potential for lending.
BitMinutes’ convertibility to cash solves the major hurdles in providing financial services to the underbanked. Consumer benefits include affordable and easy retail access to money transfer, micro-credit, and virtual MasterCard products
for e-commerce purchasing.
BitMinutes also solves structural issues in delivering these consumer services. The carriers desire to offer financial services to their customers but lack the infrastructure and data analysis tools to make underwriting decisions. For retailers, selling the BitMinutes brand of prepaid minutes greatly simplifies their need to carry multiple prepaid carriers’ products. Plus, by offering new financial services, they now become a next-generation corner banker.
BitMinutes represent a business opportunity to entrepreneurial individuals, retail merchants and telecommunications carriers to offer financial services cost-effectively. By reducing money transfer costs, adding liquidity to a major global asset class of prepaid minutes and establishing credit history for the global underbanked, BitMinutes will raise the standard of living in many countries, greatly expanding the middle class to the benefit of all.