AirToken: Brazil and Boleto
To understand the gravity of how impactful the Boleto system truly is, we’ll first need to take a look at the state of Brazil’s economy. According to population estimates, Brazil has in the vicinity of 210 million people, most of whom reside in the city. About 85% of the population live in urban areas, yet a staggering 36% of Brazil’s people remain without traditional financial services. According to statistics, that equates to about 75 million people over the age of 18 who are without even a debit card. Airfox developed the AirToken to bring financial services to this target demographic, but how can one expect anyone to be able to take advantage of Airfox’s financial service platform when such an overwhelming number of people exclusively deal in fiat currencies? Boleto Banćario is a digital payment service that enables cash payments of Brazilian Reais to be used to purchase items and pay bills, both digitally and in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. These vouchers can either be printed out or used digitally, where they can be redeemed for physical goods and/or services. Brazilians can pay Boletos in post offices, supermarkets, gas stations and other stores all across Brazil. It has become a staple for digital payments in Brazilian society.
“Boleto is part of the culture in Brazil. Every month Brazilians pay utility bills like water, electricity, rent, among others using the boleto bancário in more than 40 thousand processing places.” -EBANX Business Blog
This is where things get interesting. If you are from a more developed country, the concept of a boleto may seem like a foreign concept, but for millions of Brazilians, this is their exclusive method for making online payments, many of which are necessary for their daily living.
With over 48,000 different locations in Brazil, Boleto has the potential to bridge the gap from fiat currency into cryptocurrency, financial services, payments and the otherwise inaccessible lending services that people desperately need. Very simply put, Boleto Banćario makes it an incredibly simple process to be able to take advantage of the AirToken platform, and moreover, aids in the adoption of digital currencies for the entire country. Allow me to elaborate: anyone in Brazil can download the Airfox app, walk a few steps outside their door to a Boleto location, and have access to cryptocurrency and financial services, including loans. How many of us had access to cryptocurrency that easily? Or loans? This is technology that aims to help a key demographic in a powerful way, and Boleto makes the process seamless, and that is why it was a big step for Airfox to secure the use of the Boleto Banćario payment gateway, and it is going to play a huge role for the application in the future. With Airfox’s Boleto Banćario payment integration, a user can deposit cash into the app that can then be used to pay bills and purchase both digital and physical goods.
According to PagBrazil, Boleto Banćario processes over 3.7 billion payments each year. At Brazil’s current population, that is an average of 17 Boleto payments per person, and accounts for approximately 25% of all online payment transactions. “Boleto is a must for doing business in Brazil.”
Recently, the Airfox team proudly announced over four thousand Airfox app downloads! The app itself is still under development, but this could be an indication, a litmus test of sorts, of the kind of interest that could spark like wildfire in the coming year(s). Stay tuned to the AirToken Reddit and related channels for upcoming info. Recently, a YouTube campaign was launched, and the AirToken team began doing live, weekly AMAs (ask me anything). You can subscribe to the channel here. The AMAs are full of valuable information from the very people who are working on this project. This week, we will hear from Airfox’s Head of Marketing: Katie Sedat! Stop by and say hello! I look forward to ‘seeing’ all of you there.
- Billy Ryan — AirToken Community Management