Cassbana, an Egyptian fintech startup that creates financial identities for the underserved and unbanked, has scaled rapidly, providing more than 10,000 loans in 14 cities.
Cassbana, which was founded in June of last year, uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide financial identities for underserved and unbanked consumers. Its technology and data, which can be accessed via an Android app, allows financial institutions and businesses to create innovative lending and financial support solutions by analyzing consumer behavior patterns.
The company began by testing its services with one service provider in Cairo, but in only one year, it has facilitated 10,000 loans in 14 cities, with a 1.6% default rate.
Cassbana’s founder and CEO, Haitham Nassar, believes the startup is building a behavior-based scoring system and a smart data analysis scheme that will be the future of data-based financial advisory.
“By developing mobile technology and data science algorithms, Cassbana disrupts the way financial identities are being built within the modern financial sector. The main goal of Cassbana is to reach and penetrate underbanked segments in growing markets in MEA, through using alternative data, network behaviour and instant credit,” Nassar said.
The startup raised a pre-seed round of US$1.4 million earlier this year and plans to initiate a fresh round later this year. The overall goal is to address a major problem.
“Globally, almost two-thirds of adults without an account at a financial institution said that they have too little money to use one. Over five billion people around the world own and use a mobile phone, while 1.7 billion adults have no access to financial services,” said Nassar.
“One in five of them blame the fact they are unbanked on the inability to provide personal information, demonstrate a credit history or account for their financial behaviour. Banks and other financial institutions still rely on the collateral-based scoring system or KYC, and aren’t positioned to meet the capital needs of the underserved due to lack of financial data on these populations.”
Due to this, 77 per cent of 65 million Egyptians remain unbanked and financially underserved. Cassbana is here to fix that.
“We enable individuals and businesses by giving them access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs, delivered in a responsible and sustainable way with a steady focus on constant embedding of financial literacy at the heart of each offering, product and service,” Nassar said.
Cassbana, on the other hand, has ambitions beyond Egypt, and aims to begin expanding into other Middle Eastern and African markets with comparable inclusion issues next year. The startup, which makes money from interest rates and is already profitable, is aware of its competition but believes it has an advantage.
“Fintech is a hot space now, and there is noise everywhere, so the challenge is always to keep your focus on your customers, not on the competition or noise,” said Nassar.