Impakter columnist Mohamad Akef spoke with the CEO and co-founder of First Access Nicole Van Der Tuin to learn more about the history of First Access and what it takes to become a data-driven financial institution.
Last year, First Access hit a turning point. A string of successes had our inboxes overflowing, but we couldn’t scale fast enough to change emerging market credit. We were turning data into financial opportunity, but not for everyone. Our credit scoring platform needed to be easier to use and more affordable. Our innovation was literally too disruptive.
New York, NY - 21 November 2017: Bamboo Capital Partners (“Bamboo”), a leading impact investment private equity firm delivering social and financial value, has led the $7m Series A investment round in First Access, a cutting-edge fintech company that offers a smart data platform for analytics and credit scoring to lending institutions in emerging markets.
First Access, based in New York City, works with financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa to simplify and reduce the cost of evaluating credit applicants. Co-founder and CEO Nicole Van Der Tuin has a professional background in the microfinance industry, and as she states in this interview, she saw that the demands of traditional credit-scoring methods were making capital inaccessible to many.
First Access is a winner of the MasterCard Foundation's Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) Innovation Competition. With the award, First Access will be developing a revolutionary credit scoring platform to empower lending institutions to reach more smallholder farmers with credit!
Our Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist Rohit Acharya helped the SME Finance Forum launch their new report "Alternative Data Transforming SME Finance." Rohit is pictured here speaking on the panel discussion at the launch of the report at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington, DC, on 12 June 2017.
It is great to be mentioned as one of the top disruptors in the fintech industry by Disruptor Daily! The First Access platform empowers lending institutions to utilize data and embrace data-driven credit decisions to increase efficiency and outreach.
Today, First Access is proud to launch a new logo that reflects our vision of turning data into financial opportunity for everyone.
Affordable credit enables important opportunities like growing a business, owning a home, and financing an education, but remains out of reach for more than 2.5 billion people. Most make their living in informal economies, where records like personal identification, transaction receipts, and land titles are still not universal.
Financial institutions across emerging markets are striving to reach underserved customers, enabling their “first access” to credit, and providing essential liquidity for economic growth and development. However, the high cost of relationship-driven lending remains the greatest challenge to scale.
The new competition can have apositive impact on MFIs as it pushes them to innovate around “alternative”credit scoring models and to develop mobile-based savings and loan productsthat can be easily accessed by clients.
Great primer on the diverse fintech landscape. To ensure all countries see the benefits of global fintech innovation, governments should consider eliminating "data localization" laws that force data to be stored within a nation's geographic borders. These laws do not increase data security and can ultimately stifle the flow of innovation to developing countries, particularly those without sophisticated local data centers and storage facilities.
Technology is allowing companies to leverage the wealth of data produced by mobile phones to facilitate lending to the un- or underbanked. Nineteen emerging experts from sub-Saharan Africa, working to advance financial inclusion at their national and regional levels, attended Rethinking Financial Inclusion (RFI) last month.
17 May 2016, Washington, D.C. – Today global microfinance leader FINCA and First Access, whose technology predicts the credit risk of borrowers in informal markets, announced a new collaboration that will create the largest and most sophisticated alternative credit-scoring approach by a microfinance institution (MFI) in the world. The partnership will vastly improve FINCA’s outreach to excluded populations.
First Access will analyze existing client data from FINCA’s operations, as well as subscriber data from local mobile network operators (MNOs), to establish credit scores for low-income clients who lack sufficient formal credit history to secure small loans to build businesses or support emerging personal needs.