A financial platform for migrants and expats: all you need to know about Bnka
Becoming a global financial inclusion platform for migrants and expats. This is the ambition of Bnka, a new financial application being launched to serve Argentinian and European customers.
But that is already working on its international expansion to Peru, Colombia, Brazil and the United States in 2024.
A migrant financial inclusion begins home
Bnka’s offering is not just about finance. The fintech promises to accompany customers before they board the plane to migrate. It wants to support their decision to move to another country, providing financial inclusion advice throughout the process.
The package of financial services includes multicurrency accounts, international flag debit cards, currency exchange, and a global remittance system.
Why remittances are so important
Remittances are a key feature when addressing the migrants segment. Sending money home is more than a mere transaction. That money represents the bond with the country of origin of the customer, with his/her family and community.
World Bank’s projections estimate a total amount of 656 billions US Dollars in remittances to low- and middle-income countries in 2023. A monstruous amount that only accounts for officially recorded operations.
Traditional banks and money transfer services often apply very high fees to remittances.
Many migrants try to avoid these costs using unrecorded, informal, and often risky money transfer services.
That is why inclusive fintechs are working on the democratization of money transfer: it matters a lot, to migrants.
Bnka adds a little tech spice, using blockchain technology to keep track of remittance transaction.
How Bnka was designed
Like other migrant-focused fintechs, Bnka was founded by migrants and for migrants. It started in Spain, where a significant South American community has been living for decades. It is now registered in Lithuania as a Virtual Asset Service Operator and, thanks to European Regulation, can operate in the whole European Union.
The features of the platform were conceived to solve the most common financial problems of migrants and expatriates.
The first hurdle is to be overcome at the very beginning of the financial inclusion journey. Opening a bank account as a migrant can be a nightmare, because of all the documentation required. Proof of identity is one thing, but when it comes to proof of address, of income or payroll, things can get complicated.
Bnka kicks in with a simplified, and yet compliant, onboarding procedure, and can be accessed using a web browser or the mobile application.
The multicurrency account allows the customer to make purchases using the local currency or one of his/her choice, regardless of where in the world.