Kiva looks to the future of mobile banking with zip.kiva.org

 

During the Social Media Track part of LeWeb Day 3 on our Plenary II Stage, Cedric Giorgi had a Q&A with Matt Flannery, Co-founder and CEO of Kiva.

We discussed social change and doing philanthropy in groups, as well as how Kiva got started (Kiva was initially helped by a few friends and family members of Matt until the word got out and the press fell in love with the organization), but at about minute 7:30, Matt started talking about the future.

He talked about how banking is developing and said

"Banking is being rewritten in a new way in the developing world, and in some sense it may be better than how it was written in the developed world"

He talked specifically about the rise of mobile technology and pointed out that in Kenya, about 1 in 5 transactions happens via mobile banking, that is, via text message. You can send money directly through your phone instead of using cash, and actually it's easier to use than cash! Even in the Silicon Valley you can't say that, just yet.

Matt called mobile banking "the future of microfinance," stating that

"mobile banking will rewrite the history of banking in the developing world and provide small bank accounts to hopefully billions of people one day"

Kiva just started integrating with mobile banking in Kenya, and announced the launch of Kiva Zip.

With Kiva Zip you can now you can lend money directly from a website to a farmer's phone in Kenya. According to Matt your loan will arrive in 3 minutes, with a 0% interest rate.

He did warn that since Kiva Zip is so new (2 weeks old) and so different from Kiva.org (find more about the difference here or by asking Matt directly on Twitter), they do not expect returns to attain the 99% rate they have reached for Kiva.org loans. He said, however, that they are going to try whatever they can to reduce this risk. 

According to Kiva Zip's website, "Kiva Zip is attempting to take the use of technology to the next level, such as mobile and electronic payments that enable the direct transfer of funds between lenders and borrowers."

Invitations to the pilot are available at zip.kiva.org and/or you can watch the whole video of Matt's Q&A at LeWeb below:

 

 

 

Posted by Michelle Chmielewski

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