In a pioneering move to improve financial inclusion in Mongolia, Ard Credit has become the first credit card provider in the world to support what3words.

Set up in 2011, Ard Credit was established with the goal of providing access to inclusive financial services to Mongolians by leveraging the potential of innovative technologies. After signing a major MOU in July 2023, Ard Credit has now added a what3words location field to its application form, opening up access to finance for millions across the country.

Mongolia is vast. It is the second largest landlocked country in the world, and one of the most sparsely populated, with a semi-nomadic population. In many parts of the country, there is little to no street addressing, with deliveries sometimes only achieved using descriptive landmarks – “past the crossroads, opposite the gas station”. This is frustrating for Mongolian citizens, and on a larger scale, has proven to be a barrier when it comes to accessing finance, as customers struggle to have credit cards and key documents delivered.

what3words provides a simple solution. It has divided the world into a grid of 3 metre by 3 metre squares and given each square a unique combination of 3 random words: a what3words address. Now, every apartment building entrance, parking space and ger has its own what3words address. For example, the entrance of what3words’ Ulaanbaatar office is at ///universes.gardens.magically The technology works offline, making it ideal for use in areas with unreliable data connection. It is also available in 60 languages to date, including Mongolian, enabling more than half of the world’s population to use it in their native tongue.

what3words has proved to be particularly useful in overcoming some of the addressing challenges that stem from Mongolia’s unique geography. Adding a what3words location field to the Ard Credit application form ensures that everyone in the country, including nomadic herders who have no formal address, are given access to financial services, marking a major step forward for the company.

The what3words app is free to download for both iOS and Android devices and can also be used via the online map at what3words.com . The Ard app is available on the App Store and Play Store for Mongolian citizens.