According to Nayib Bukele, 70% of El Salvador’s population doesn’t have a bank account and work in the informal economy. About half of unbanked people include women poor households in rural areas or out of the workforce.

The Financial Inclusion is a key enabler to reduce extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. Financial access facilitates day-to-day living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies.

Being able to have access to a transaction account is a first step toward broader financial inclusion since a transaction account allows people to store money, send and receive payments.

And here is where we started thinking about new ways that we approach this challenges:

So... Why Messaging Apps? In 2020, an estimate of 57% of the population in El Salvador, this represent nearly 3.8 million internet users were already connected, most of this accesses through mobile networks. Also according to in the top downloaded Apps in the country during 2021 you are going to find: Telegram, Whatsapp and Messenger. And this is why our solution is unique on helping to accelerate the financial inclusion of users through Neobanks running on the top of Messaging Apps/Web, since the users won't need to install a new App, because they already have them.

What it does

We trained our virtual assistant for Telegram, Messenger and WA, to receive request from users that want to Open a Bank Account:


The virtual agent was trained to request the following data from the users for the authentication of their accounts: Alt text

  • 1- Personal ID Number
  • 2- Complete Name
  • 3- Geolocation
  • 4- ID Photo
  • 5- Live Photo
  • 6- Phone Number

Once the user account is activated, we trained the NLP model in Open Bank Project (OBP) functionalities, such as:

  • 1- Direct Login:

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  • 2- Account information: Balance

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  • 3- Transactions

  • 4- Payments

  • 5- Access the list of branches and ATMs for the specified bank including geolocation and opening hours. Alt text

How we built it

For the Natural Conversations models we use the Telegram API: and integrate it with the Open Bank API:

List of the main resources that we integrate from the OBP:

Code Repo:!/bankifi-bot

Our Business Model

  • SaaS
  • Pay per User
  • Fee per transaction

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Testing Instructions

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Login:
- User: Leandroai 
- Password: 987012

Step 3: Ask for your Balance, Transactions or ATMs.

What we learned

  • Potential of Cryptocurrencies to promote Financial Inclusion.


  • Phase 1: Web & Messenger
  • Phase 2: WA
  • Phase 3: Telegram

What's next for Instant Bank

  • Scale the solution in Central and Latin America.

Let’s help us accelerate the financial inclusion of unbanked populations through messaging apps. Welcome to the instant payments era!

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