e-Business & Financial Inclusion – Winner 2014
Project Title : Using Psychometric Credit Scoring to Expand Financial Inclusion
Organisation: The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL)
Country : INDIA
Website : www.eflglobal.com
Language: English
Email: samir.ghosh@eflglobal.com

The Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL) has emerged out of the work of its co-founders Bailey Klinger, a fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Development and Asim Khwaja a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University who realised the need to develop non-traditional credit scoring tools that would enable lenders to identify high potential MSME entrepreneurs especially in emerging markets who often lack detailed credit histories and other traditional documented metrics of credit-worthiness and consequently are denied access to much-needed finance to run and grow their businesses. In 2008, Asim and Bailey launched the ‘Entrepreneurial Finance Lab’ project within Harvard’s Center for International Development to pilot test alternative screening tools in a network of financial institutions across Africa and Latin America.

During the next two years, the EFL worked with the world’s leading psychometric firms and entrepreneurship researchers to assemble a prototype credit-scoring tool using a psychometric survey combined with readily available information. In 2010, the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab became an independent organization that has developed and rapidly scaled-up tools to identify high-potential entrepreneurs using non-traditional credit scoring. In 2013 EFL entered the Indian market in partnership with Janalakshmi Financial Services after recognising the relevance of and need for its product in the Indian market where 92% of MSME businesses are run on self-finance. Since April 2013, EFL’s India partners have administered more than 10,000 EFL surveys across 14 states in North, West, and South India, and have disbursed more than 5,000 loans.

Project Title : bKash Limited
Organisation: bKash Limited
Country : Bangladesh
Website : www.bkash.com
Language: English
Email: syed.dastagir@bkash.com

Launched in July 2011, bKash is a mobile based financial service provider in Bangladesh. Through bKash one can top up mobile airtime credit, make payments, receive remittance from abroad, cash out from ATMs, save money and earn interest, etc. Recognising that less than 16% of Bangladeshis are connected to the formal banking system whereas over 70% have access to a mobile phone, bKash seeks to allow access to formal financial services through mobile phones to the people of Bangladesh, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid and living in remote rural areas. It enables financial transactions instantly through a secure transaction platform and has a vast distribution network of more than 95,000 agents nationwide. It is operating under the jurisdiction of the Bangladesh Central Bank as a subsidiary of BRAC Bank, a local bank. Already the second largest MFS in the world (in terms of wallet numbers), bKash’s customer base has rapidly grown to more than 10 million in only two and a half years of operations.

bKash services are offered seamlessly through all major mobile networks (Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi and Airel) and hence covers 96% of all mobile users and can be accessed in 99% of the geographic area of Bangladesh. According to statistics recently announced by the CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), as of March 2014, bKash is one of the most affordable MFS service available globally. Today, there is not a single village in Bangladesh where a bKash community based agent is not available to serve the unbanked.

e-Business &Financial Inclusion – Special Mention 2014
Project Title : BOI NSDC Star Visa Card program
Organisation: Transerv Pvt ltd
Country : India
Website : www.transerv.co.in
Language: English
Email: aditya@transerv.co.in
In February 2014, Bank of India (BOI) rolled out the National Skill Development Star Visa Card (NSDC) with Transerv Pvt Ltd as the programme manager. The card provides a mechanism for youth enrolled in the NSDC training programmes to get access to a financial product that enables them to both receive the immediate benefits from the government for skill development and also get included into the financial mainstream with a banking product. The multi-wallet programme also helps addresses the key requirement of ensuring that the funds provided by the government are utilised only for the intended purpose by having a wallet designated for benefit from the government (NSDC Wallet) and restricted for usage only at identified training institutes. The authorisation rules route the request to the NSDC Wallet if it comes from the enrolled institute. The second wallet is a GPR Wallet linked to a Bank of India account, giving cardholders the flexibility to cash in and use the card at participating Visa ATM’s and POS. This is the first multi-wallet card programme in India. So far, over 5,00,000 beneficiaries and 2500 direct training centres have been enrolled in the first six months.
Project Title : India’s FIRST Microfinance Credit Bureau
Organisation: CRIF High Mark Credit Information Services Pvt Ltd
Country : India
Website : www.crifhighmark.com
Language: English
Email: Subhrangshu.chattopadhyay@crifhighmark.com
Launched in March 2011, CRIF High Mark (CHM) microfinance bureau is India’s first credit rating agency for the microfinance industry offering credit information even for borrowers with inadequate KYC identifiers. CHM’s services are used by micro-lenders (MFIs, NBFCs, banks etc.) to check credit behavior history of a borrower and support their loan officers in making better underwriting decisions using objective and reliable data from bureau reports before approving new loan applications or loan renewals. MFIs are able to deploy the limited capital available with them judiciously by picking up low-risk borrowers showing good history and to better collect overdues from borrowers with past defaults. Two key innovations enable CHM’s identity resolution engine to pin-point with a great degree of statistical accuracy, whether an inquired individual’s credit record exists in its database, even in the absence of KYC identifiers. These innovations are (a) CHM’s technology can read and match customer names (with varying spellings, transliterations, regional & vernacular nuances etc) and thus effectively uses India specific elements such as father & spouse name to identify individuals, and (b) CHM can interpret non-standard and incomplete Indian addresses with near human intelligence, even in the absence of comma separators, PIN codes etc. This unique ability to handle non-standardized textual data enables lenders using CHM services to obtain more complete and correct credit records of their borrowers, thereby allowing them to make more informed and optimal credit decisions. At present CHM operates the world’s largest micro-credit database with over 182 MFI’s and 200 million records.
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