This blog was co-authored by Jessica Osborn and Annabel Schiff, both Senior Manager, Partners for the FiDA Partnership
In May, the FiDA Partnership took 26 leaders from Africa’s digital finance industry to China to learn about their unprecedented FinTech boom. The week was immersive and intense, designed to allow participants to escape the boardroom and experience Chinese digital life firsthand on the streets of Beijing, in the mom-and-pop stores of Hangzhou, and the on factory floors of Guangdong. In this blog, we reflect on the key lessons.
Richard is a smallholder maize farmer in Western Kenya. He used to borrow money from his family or friends to buy essential inputs to grow maize—seed, fertilizer, and equipment—because he couldn’t access a formal loan from a bank. Most banks consider him a high risk client because of his low-income and lack of credit history. Recently though, Richard obtained a $50 loan for his farming business. By processing and analyzing satellite imagery on his farmland and cropping cycle, in combination with other alternative data, a lending organization was able to assess his creditworthiness.
Two agriculture FinTechs integrated satellite imagery into their business models and product offerings, illustrating the promise and limitations of big data in financial services.