Airfox July engineering update
June. What. A. Month.
First, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this, as we are always working on exciting developments to share with you. I hope you are enjoying the World Cup! Outside of development, the community had the opportunity to hear from our CEO Victor Santos (please watch it if you have not seen it yet). As promised, I am here to deliver the very exciting engineering developments that happened last month.
Airfox is developing an iOS app
Even though 85% of smartphone usage in Brazil is Android, we have decided to begin work on developing the Airfox app for iOS. Even though it is a relatively small share of the Brazilian market, Apple’s marketing penetration has been growing. Also, the team’s recent trip to Brazil highlighted a few key factors that highlighted the need to add it to our product pipeline.
- Consumers aspire to own iPhones, as they’re a status symbol.
- Having an app for iOS makes appear more trustworthy and “trendy”.
- Even lower-income users in our target demographic own older generation iPhones, which many have purchased second hand.
- As we start serving micro-entrepreneurs such as maids, taxi drivers, and street sellers who want to get paid with Airfox, their customers are often higher-income consumers who have iPhones. By having an iOS app, we can allow all users with smartphones to transact in both of the two mainstream smartphone ecosystems (Android and iOS).
We will be releasing beta builds of the iOS app in the coming months. People in our Telegram channel are always the first to hear the news.
Progress with microloans
We’re very, very close to bringing microloans out of beta!
As part of this work, we re-wrote our loan infrastructure to be extremely flexible. Now, the business and analytics teams have the ability to experiment as much as possible with the configuration of the loan including amount borrowed, number of payments, and frequency of payments.
To help guide new applicants through this process we have added the concept of “leveling up”. Before users gain their first level, we collect first-party and self-reported data from them. We also do an identity verification. We’re working with a Brazilian company, IDwall, to verify people’s identity using a selfie with their government-issued ID.
Always fixing bugs and making improvements
We’re committed to a high quality user experience fueled by constant improvement and feedback. Using recent user feedback, we have recently update the following features in the app:
- We improved our phone-entry fields to be simpler and easier to understand for the Brazilian consumer, who often don’t know their country and city codes. This should make onboarding, transferring money, and recharging their phones a simpler process.
- We noticed users were topping up the same phone numbers multiple times, so we added a list of “Recently used” numbers to make it even faster for users to top-up their friends and family.
- Receipts for boleto and utility bill payments should now be sent automatically to the email address saved on users’ accounts.
- Users with Caixa and Santander accounts can now do bank transfers to deposit money into the app.
I’m really excited to kick-off the bug hunting this week! I hope to share the most interesting bugs found and how we fixed them with you soon.
As some of the major pieces to our platform are coming together beautifully, we here at Airfox would like to thank our community members for all of the great support that we have received. Kindly watch our public channels for more information moving forward, and join us in Telegram where you will hear all of the latest developments first!
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James Seibel is CTO at Airfox — a blockchain-based fintech startup bringing financial services to the unbanked and financially underserved in emerging markets.
James is formerly a Software Architect at Lola Travel (founded by Kayak co-founder), Head of Engineering at Apperian (acquired by Arxan Technologies), MS and BA in Computer Science from Boston University. James has architected and developed a range of technologies, including mobile app hardening using algorithms to rewrite compiled application binaries to automatically add crypto for US and German governments. James is a blockchain engineer and Ethereum contract author.