Recently Africa has moved from traditional banking to web-based services. These web-based services have helped people and especially the youth to get loans easily than before. In Kenya the well-known M-pesa has created avenues for people to get loans faster. Most banks and money lending companies usually look at your financial background as well as your stability. The most interesting kind of development in Africa is Nigeria’s new system where they look at borrower’s social media profile to assess their credit worthiness. So how exactly does this system help both the lenders and borrowers? For a while now lenders have always had a challenge when obtaining data about people, especially in less developed areas. This new system in Nigeria is known as social lender. Social lender has been designed in a way that it can assign a social reputation score thus validating someone’s worthiness. So how exactly does it work?
It almost sounds too easy to only have a good social media reputation then have the access to a loan. The way social lender is designed is extremely smart such that it has the right to analyze your mobile data. It checks how much a person spends on airtime and how they use their money wallet as well. This analysis helps the lenders and financial institutions get useful information about their customers. The concept is not only in Nigeria but in other African countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. After a thorough social media background check users can apply for loans from lenders and can receive the cash straight to their phones. The best thing about this system is the fact that it is very user friendly. Considering that not everyone uses smartphones this new feature can also work on “feature” phones, leaving no one behind.
The World Bank says that Africans pay an average of 9.74% in fees for every transaction with the likes of Western union and Moneygram. This means that people who send money to Africa suffer a great loss. But there are new start-up companies that have challenged these big money transfer companies. One of the greatest companies formed in Africa is known as Redcore whose service allows people to sned money via debit or credit card in East Africa. These new companies that are coming up have helped Africa have better money systems that are interoperable across the continent.