Contxto – There’s a middle ground when it comes to transitioning between cash and electronic payments, as I’ve recently found. This “neither here nor there” option is Bolivian Blink. A fintech startup in its own way as it uses technology to give users access to cash.
Blink emerged from within marketing firm Ogilvy’s Bolivia branch and it appears to be becoming a startup in its own right. The application serves to call upon a taxi driver so they may deliver money and then the funds are withdrawn from the person’s bank account.
Living, breathing ATMs?
Blink developed a network it calls a mobile ATM network.
Taxi drivers associated with this network go about their route. As they do, they carry a determined amount of cash in their car. A user in need of money uses the app to contact the driver and specifies the amount that’s required.
The driver then delivers the money to the user. After this, the application generates a code. The chauffeur will use this number to withdraw the amount that had been delivered from an ATM machine associated with the user’s bank. They also receive a small commission for the performed service.
The fintech hopes that more bank accounts will be opened and ATMs made available as the number of Blink users grows. Moreover, there are plans to use the data gathered on the app to help banks determine strategic points in which to install ATM machines.
In that sense, Blink is targeting not only to be a B2C but eventually a B2B as well.
Is this fintech the missing link?
The application sounds like a great intermediary option. As the mind behind the fintech, Henry Medina, explains.
“Blink goes from an offline need [cash] to an online solution [the application],” he stated. “We may be talking about the missing link between traditional banking culture and the digital one.”
However, I’m concerned for the deliverer’s safety. Uber drivers are often victims of assault because they carry cash. Won’t the same happen to these guys?
In any case, it’s an innovative approach to a still-highly cash-dependent region.