A New Year, A New Logo

A New Year, A New Logo

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.

Microfinance Gateway: Leveraging Big Data for Financial Inclusion: Opportunities and Risks

Microfinance Gateway: Leveraging Big Data for Financial Inclusion: Opportunities and Risks

The new competition can have a positive impact on MFIs as it pushes them to innovate around “alternative” credit scoring models and to develop mobile-based savings and loan products that can be easily accessed by clients.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation: Policy Principles for Fintech Companies

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation: Policy Principles for Fintech Companies

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. 

Tradecraft: 30 Mission-Driven Startups You Should Know

“Many in Silicon Valley aspire to build products and companies that have the potential to create positive change on a large scale. Often, however, these companies can be difficult to find because they have smaller recruiting budgets, and their mission statements can get lost in the noise of startups claiming to be “changing the world.” To help, we’ve decided to put together a list of mission-driven companies that are attempting to make a big impact on the world.”

Future of Fintech for Financial Inclusion: Seven Trends We’re Watching — Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Companies that employ credit analytics, like DemystData, First Access, RevolutionCredit, and Aire, are finding innovative ways to work with new and existing data to help financial institutions make better credit decisions on customers with little to no traditional credit history…

future of fintech

Using Mobile Data to Enable Financial Inclusion

Using Mobile Data to Enable Financial Inclusion

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. 

The Economist: Caught in the middle - Big and tiny firms often find it easier to borrow than medium-sized ones

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) all over the world grumble about access to finance, but the problem is worse in developing regions. Around two-thirds of SMEs in poor countries cannot borrow as much as they would like, compared with a sixth in the rich world, says the International Finance Corporation, the corporate-lending arm of the World Bank. It put the “credit gap” for small but formal businesses in developing countries at around $1 trillion in 2011. Throw in informal firms, and the shortfall is even greater.

Economist_Caught in the Middle

Finca and First Access join forces for microfinance fintech » Banking Technology

FINCA Microfinance Holding Company, an arm of US-based nonprofit microfinance network FINCA International, and First Access, a US-based financial technology company, recently partnered to create an alternative credit-scoring system to serve the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. This system aims 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.” Specific information on exactly how this system works is unavailable, but First Access typically analyzes demographic, geographic, financial and social aspects of clients’ mobile phone usage to predict credit risk…

Fintech takes off in Africa as lenders tap mobile technology >> Financial Times

FINCA, a US-based microfinance organisation, and First Access, a New York-based data analytics company, have formed a partnership to start making loans over east Africa using credit scores derived from mobile phone data. This kind of uncollateralised lending has already started to transform…

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@FastCompany: First Access CEO named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business

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“Nicole Van Der Tuin is the co-founder and CEO of financial technology company First Access, which uses mobile phone payments as a stand-in for traditional financial records, providing credit risk scores for loan applicants in emerging economies—usually their first-ever credit evaluation. As of 2016, First Access has analyzed more than 50 billion mobile phone transactions and has helped reduce the lending costs for banks to evaluate borrowers by 65%. The U.S.-based company recently began expanding from its Tanzanian subsidiary; in 2016, it will operate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, and Zambia.”

FINCA and First Access Announce World’s Largest Microfinance Fintech Collaboration

FINCA and First Access Announce World’s Largest Microfinance Fintech Collaboration

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.

Lot of Contacts in Your Mobile Phone May Get You Loans

“First Access, a New York-based startup, mines data stored on Tanzanian and Kenyan borrowers’ mobile phones to recommend a loan amount to banks and microfinance lenders within 90 seconds. The proprietary algorithms can cut down clients’ underwriting costs by more than 92 percent, according to co-founder and CEO Nicole Van Der Tuin. Its backers include Capital One Financial Services co-founder Nigel Morris and The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund, Bill Ackman’s venture capital fund investing in businesses that promote financial inclusion.”