Small logo Subscribe to leading news on impact investing. Learn More
The Brief Originals Dealflow Signals The Impact Alpha Impact Voices Podcasts Agents of Impact Open
What's Next Measure Better Investing in Racial Equity Beyond Aid Beyond Trade-offs Impact en las Americas New Revivalists Women Rising in India Operation Impact
Smarter Money Women Rising 2030 Finance Locavesting Inclusive Economy Regeneration Impact Tech New Power Geographies
Slack Conference Calls Events Contribute
The Archive ImpactSpace The Accelerator Selection Tool Network Map
About Us FAQ Calendar Pricing and Payment Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Service Agreement Contact Us
Industry News Impact Management Good Business Personal Finance Faith and investing Billionaires
Gender Lens Investing Women Rising in India
SDGs Climate Finance Clean Energy Innovative Finance Full Stack Capital Long-termism
Opportunity Zones Investing in place
Entrepreneurship Return on Inclusion Good Jobs Inclusive Fintech Creative economy Housing New Schooled Well Being People on the Move
Conservation Finance Farmer Finance Financing Fish
Blockchain/AI/IoT Urban Tech Food Tech Inclusive Fintech
Human Rights Democracy and Peace News and Information
Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East Oceania/Australia China Canada India United Kingdom United States Growth Markets
Subscribe Log In

Can artificial intelligence boost global financial inclusion?

ImpactAlpha, May 21 – Artificial intelligence has a big role to play in extending financial services to the next billion customers. A wonky new report highlights financial service providers in Africa that are wielding AI to lower costs, boost revenues and gain a competitive edge with low-income populations.

The report from FIBR, a partnership of BFA consulting and MasterCard Foundation, makes the case that automation, machine learning, statistics and programming can help providers “micro-segment” customers and suit services to their finances. The use cases:

  • Credit assessments. Kenya’s Branch and Tala are using behavioral data from phones to provide mobile credit to individuals directly. South Africa’s Lulalend is using machine learning to score and lend to small businesses.
  • Personal finance. Abe AI in the U.S., in partnership with Absa Bank in South Africa, is predicting customer spending and savings activity and providing nudges toward healthier financial behaviors.
  • Interactive interfaces. South Africa-based DataProphet is helping insurance companies introduce machine-learning enabled chatbots to lower customer-service costs.
  • Voice recognition. More than a billion illiterate individuals (as well as the elderly and blind) may potentially be reached via voice-recognition AI that completes tasks over the phone without a human. In India, 28% of Google searches are conducted by voice.

Artificial intelligence algorithms are only as good as their data, notes the report from the consulting firm BFA. “More diverse individuals — including women, for example, or individuals from under-represented groups — may identify sources of bias inherent in the data and processes that might have been missed otherwise.”

Go deeper: BFA is hosting a webinar on AI applied to financial services in Africa on June 6.

You might also like...