LONDON, June 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ —
Right now, a revolution is rocking the sleepy world of traditional finance. A single company is working to bring financial services to billions of “unbanked” people, from the slums of Mexico City to sunny southern California. Mentioned in today’s commentary includes: Blackberry Ltd. (NYSE: BB), Celestica Inc. (NYSE: CLS), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK), FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE).
QPAGOS (QPAG) has developed technology that could allow millions of marginalized individuals, and their businesses, to access financial services for the first time. Through a joint venture with DPW Holdings, Inc., QPAGOS plans to soon deploy one thousand self-service kiosks throughout California-tapping into a multi-billion dollar remittance market.
QPAGOS wants to deploy thousands of kiosks throughout the United States, filling the gaps where traditional finance has done nothing and left millions without access to financial services. The deal with DPW Holdings is just the tip of the iceberg.
In time, the billions of “unbanked” throughout the world could finally have access to the world of finance. That’s a revolution on par with the invention of the ATM. And its led by QPAGOS, a little company with a big, bold vision of the future.
#1 The “Unbanked“
Around the world, there are billions of “unbanked:” individuals and businesses without access to financial services. The cash economy dominates in places like Mexico, where 65 percent of the adult population lacks a traditional bank account-and where 95 percent of all transactions are conducted in cash.
Fintech solutions focus on specific problems and have the capacity to revolutionize how financial transactions are managed, conducted, tracked and organized. Yet for the billions of unbanked, fintech has offered few answers to the very basic problem of access-despite the $16.5 billion invested in fintech firms last year.
We’re talking about a population larger than Africa and South America combined-a colossal number of people totally untouched by the global financial economy. Tapping that undiscovered market could bring huge gains to innovative firms.
Think about Paypal-one of the first fintech companies, that brought bank-less transactions to millions and now has a market cap of $100 billion.
The global payments industry is worth $2.2 trillion, according to McKinsey-but 2 out of every 7 people on earth are blocked out of the system. They can’t deposit money, take out loans, earn interest or conduct any other transaction. But QPAGOS aims to help fix that, one kiosk at a time.
#2 Solution from QPAGOS
QPAGOS (QPAG) wants to end the isolation of the “unbanked” by erecting a system of self-service kiosks in areas that lack access to traditional financial systems.
As banks are busy closing thousands of branches, reducing access for millions from financial markets, QPAGOS is seizing the opportunity. The QPAGOS kiosks use secure digital payment tech to allow customers the security they need to make personalized transactions with hundreds of registered vendors.
The company has relationships with some of the largest communication companies on the planet, including AT&T, Dish, Apple, Virgin Mobile, Xbox, Nextel and over a hundred more.
For mobile users, the company has a brand new digital wallet-“Monedero,” which allows users to track their transactions just like Paypal’s popular Venmo app.
This could be a huge opportunity-half of the world’s 2 billion “unbanked” have cell phones, according to estimates from the World Bank.
#3 Tapping Potential
QPAGOS (QPAG) has identified a viable way to tap into the unbanked market, and it’s already made its first moves. The company has 700 kiosks up and running, and hopes to increase that to 10,000 in the next several years.
In Mexico, QPAGOS is setting up its first system of self-service kiosks. In a country where a majority of transactions are conducted in cash, and where millions lack a bank account, the opportunities for disruption are huge.
QPAGOS has already identified more than two hundred thousand potential kiosk locations, where more than 300 million transactions take place every month. Out of a population of 120 million, 36 million adults are currently “unbanked,” with a huge chunk of that population residing in Mexico City, the second-largest city in North America.
QPAGOS kiosks connect consumers to more than 140 service providers. Individuals can conduct transactions, pay bills, deposit money, and can even deal in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. The company has rolled out a proprietary electronic wallet, called Monedero, which allows users to deposit cash for mobile app purchases and other uses.
QPAGOS has done what few fintech firms have accomplished-they’ve brought the powers of finance to the unbanked. They are looking to shake up traditional business in Mexico…and have no plans of stopping there.
#4 Welcome to America
On June 15, 2018, QPAGOS (QPAG) took its first step towards expanding its national kiosk network. The company signed a deal with DPW Holdings, Inc., a diversified holding company, to establish a joint venture to build a network of 1,000 self-service kiosks throughout California.
Construction and installation of the kiosks is planned to take place the next 12 months. The kiosks are designed to be plugged into a network of up to 10,000 vendors that can accept digital payments as well as mobile top-up services, money transfers, cryptocurrency purchases and other financial services.
QPAGOS has already tried out its kiosks in Mexico and a dozen other markets, and the deal with DPW will bring them to the U.S. The market of “unbanked” in the U.S. is much larger than people realize: a full 7% of the U.S. population has no access to financial services. That’s nearly 25 million people.
Once these kiosks are set up, QPAGOS could start earning regularly in payment processing fees, service provider commissions, advertisement fees and kiosk rental charges. It will also likely face zero competition initially-its kiosks will be the one-stop shop for millions of Californians without access to traditional financial networks.
One niche market is servicing up to $138 billion in personal remittance payments: individuals working in the U.S. who send most of their money home to their families. Right now, individuals take advantage of sluggish storefronts like 7-11 and Western Union. But a QPAGOS kiosk could allow such remittance payments to be deposited and transferred instantly, with the company taking a small transaction fee.
The global remittances market is more than $570 billion, and nearly all of it is conducted by members of the “unbanked” population with no bank accounts and, thus, more in need of sending money easily over long distances.
QPAGOS kiosks, and the company’s secured digital platform, could make such transactions quick and easy. This is a market that no one has thought to tap, but one that QPAGOS could access with ease.
#5 Unlocking the Unbanked
Make no mistake. QPAGOS (QPAG) is intent on bringing the fintech revolution to the world’s unbanked masses, and could make a killing in the process. It reported a 58 percent increase in revenue in Q1 2018. Its stock is up 100 percent from January 2018.
From its humble beginnings in 2014, QPAGOS has seen its revenue triple, as more of its kiosks are erected and more users take advantage of its products, including the digital wallet Monedero. Its new kiosk deployment plan with DPW Holdings could allow it to tap into markets containing 400 million people.
Erecting these kiosks costs very little, and most of the maintenance is covered by rental fees-local businesses will pay to have kiosks close by, since they bring additional business.
QPAGOS’ (QPAG) has already taken Mexico by storm. Now, through its deal with DPW, it’s bringing its revolutionary tech to those in need within the United States.
Other companies to watch as the fintech revolution takes off:
Blackberry Ltd. (NYSE: BB) made its name as a cell phone manufacturer, but many don’t realize that Blackberry is actually providing mobile cybersecurity for government agencies worldwide. It’s also playing security consultant. A major victory for BB came in when it won the right to sell its secure messaging tools to the U.S. government.
As the fintech revolution heats up, Blackberry may very well carve its own place in the movement, and investors are sure to be playing close attention to its share price.
Celestica Inc. (NYSE: CLS) is a manufacturer of electrical devices used in IT, telecommunications, healthcare, defense and aerospace industries, though it recently has shown a significant interest in the development of blockchain and IoT solutions, Celestica has also shown interest in artificial intelligence which could be an absolute game-changer in its current devices
Celestica has a long history in technology, and will surely be a stock to watch as the Fourth Industrial Revolution takes flight.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is one of the most innovative and well-known companies within the tech sector, but its Windows platform is the most widely used operating system on the planet. First launched in 1985, Windows has shaped what is expected from a personal home computer.
But Microsoft is appealing to investors for more just its Windows platform. Like Intel, Microsoft is diving head first into an entirely new market. With key partnerships utilizing and implementing blockchain and financial technology, the company’s upside could have huge potential as the tech takes off.
Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK) According to one analyst, it’s the perfect blockchain play. After patiently developing blockchain tech through its subsidiary TZero, Overstock.com had a big year in 2017: its stock value leapt from $20 to over $80, and its market cap jumped above $1.5 billion, before falling back down a bit.
FireEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) is one of the most impressive cybersecurity barnstormers out there. It only went public in September 2013, and by December that same year it was spending $1 billion on a major acquisition, Mandiant, which was one of the top data breach and response companies in the space.
This is now a massive and fast-growing company of highly sought-after cyber experts and products, all rolled into a cloud-based platform that is a favorite among key Fortune 500 companies, not to mention Global 2000 companies.
By. Charles Kennedy
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