Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game changer and will help to improve services for billions around the globe. When combined with FinTech, it has the opportunity to create a real positive change—especially for the impoverished sections of the world’s population. In fact, one of the most impoverished regions in the world—Sub-Saharan Africa, which has a shockingly high poverty rate of 41%—is starting to see real benefit from the introduction of FinTech and AI.
Africa has proven to be a great market for FinTech, especially mobile banking apps, and Sub-Saharan Africa is the only world market where the average rate of mobile banking use is over 10% and several countries have a greater infiltration of mobile banking than bank accounts.
This is where MyBucks is planning to make a major difference. The first partnership of FinTech and an NGO (Opportunity International), the company’s aim is to use FinTech and AI to break the cycle of poverty by using its three brands (GetBucks, GetSure and GetBanked) to increase financial inclusion.
AI is introduced right at the start of the application process. Through AI, MyBucks can quickly and easily determine the potential credit level of its applicants and clients and offer individualized rates based on these levels.
Then MyBucks uses its brands to provide clients with an innovative financial experience. These brands offer clients the ability to easily manage their finances by giving them programs that help them create and manage a budget, detail how much they have in the bank and how much debt they have, provide access to short-term credit or developmental credit (which is credit for life-improving pursuits like agriculture, business and education) and show their insurance coverage.
MyBucks also offers a fantastic incentive to get its clients to become educated in their finances: A discount system based on the clients financial health (with the discount rising with the level of financial health).
The startup is on track for another successful year as revenues continue to increase. This is great news for the un- and underbanked who have yet to enlist its services.
Another partnership aiming to make a positive impact in the Sub-Saharan area is Branch. Based in both San Francisco and Nairobi, the startup uses an application process that analyzes mobile data to determine a client’s credit score and quickly offer loans. With over 75% of Branch’s clients using these loans to run a business, the company is helping the Nairobi economy in numerous ways. And thanks to Branch’s use of AI during the application process, the default rate is quite low.
These startups are using AI to transform the application process and provide financial services to populations that have been underserved for generations and will greatly benefit from the technology. Properly used, they can help billions manage their finances and in turn improve their current situations. It is a great example of the power that exists in smart technology.