What3Words – groceries, post and even pizza are now being delivered to remote parts of the world, previously cut off because they lacked an address.
In Mongolia, people can apply for a bank account using three words to identify where they live.
The system divides the world into 57 trillion 3m sq (9.8ft sq) squares, each with a unique three-word address.
What3words was at Arusha, Tanzania’s TEDGlobal conference, updating its effort to give “everyone an address”.
“Without an address you might as well not exist,” said the UK start-up’s co-founder Chris Sheldrick.
“So many services that people take for granted such as applying for a bank account or a utility require an address. For some it is either impossible or a huge struggle to get these things.”
A charity in Durban, South Africa, is using the system to provide three-word addresses for 11,000 pregnant women.
“They would previously call an ambulance and it would take hours to find them. Now they can just call and give the three-word address,” said Mr Sheldrick.
Domino’s Pizza is using the system to deliver pizzas in the Caribbean island of St Maarten.
What3words has just signed a deal with Khan bank in Mongolia that will allow residents to put the three words that make up their location on a form when applying for a bank account.
“The safe and secure delivery of credit cards to the hands of our customers is critical for us,” said Javkhlan Turmunkh, deputy chief executive of Khan Bank.
“Considering the fact that addresses supplied by our customers are often not recognised by mapping platforms, we have chosen to use three-word addresses besides conventional postal addresses in our card delivery. This means that no matter where our customers live, we will be able to deliver cards safely.”