IMPACT

People In Developing World Use Paperless Platforms To Get Loans, Build Credit

A Samsung Electronics Co. mobile phone is displayed for a photograph in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday, April 14, 2013. In the six
A Samsung Electronics Co. mobile phone is displayed for a photograph in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday, April 14, 2013. In the six years since Kenya's M-Pesa brought banking-by-phone to Africa, the service has grown from a novelty to a bona fide payment network. Photographer: Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In recent years, the banking and finance industries have not done a lot to earn the trust of consumers in the West. But in poor countries, basic financial services can be transformative.

Even in today’s wired world, many people still stash cash under the mattress, where inflation erodes it away. When they want to send money, they have to find a way to physically transport it. Loans are doled out in bundles or envelopes from moneylenders, at exorbitant rates. Emergencies or unforeseen circumstances can drive a family into penury.

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