Billon is a distributed ledger fintech company with c. 40 employees based in Poland, which recently moved its HQ to the UK to expand internationally. Founded in 2012, it is the 1st fintech software company to put a regulated, eMoney current account onto a distributed ledger (the technology platform has received regulatory approval in two EU countries to be used for eMoney issuance). The product is live in Poland, partnered with a top tier Polish bank, and enabling customer access to network of 6,000 ATMs and 18,000 cash points.
Current Accounts are expensive for banks to provide. For a retail client, studies show costs of over £100 to open, and over £100 per annum to run. Given these costs, the alternative non-bank payment sector has grown - even though many of the mechanisms are expensive for merchants, and high friction for users. This sector, valued at $899bn globally, is forecast to grow by 50% to $1.3trn in 2019.
Using its proprietary technology, Billon solves the problem around account provision. With a fast online signup (< 2 minutes), users have an immediate “lite” current account on their smartphone, enabling them to be paid via bank transfer, top up via debit card, extract cash via a network of agents (and ATMs in Poland), and spend with participating sellers. Critically, it can provide this account at almost zero cost, using regulatory compliant blockchain technology, and real currency eg. £ (not bitcoin etc…).
Billon’s mobile current account is universal. Unbanked individuals, migrant workers - anyone can have it. When a payment is made, money changes hands – instantly. It replaces the need for expensive and clunky alternative payment methods (pre-paid cards, premium SMS etc..).
Most payment disruptors focus on only the payment – this occurs “after” the money leaves the bank and “before” it goes into another account. Billon replaces the current account itself, and the payments from it. With 70% to 80% of existing current accounts unprofitable due to costs, Billon cuts the cost of current account provision to zero.
Billon’s economic models fall into the following categories:
The technical definition: A distributed ledger is a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites and countries. A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, comprised of unchangeable, digitally recorded data in packages called blocks.
In summary, distributed Ledger as a technology removes the need for central servers, providing significant benefits around cost, scalability and security. Billon has taken the key principles of a distributed ledger and modified aspects of it to achieve the following:
We build on our technology current account on a blockchain