Five Fintech Solutions For Refugees To Look Out For
Dynamically changing legal situations, language discrepancies, challenges with implementation and application of solutions to verify both identities and authorise transactions have been for years at the core of difficulties to provide financial solutions for newcomers. However complicated the initial compliance challenges might appeal, nature abhors a vacuum to fill this niche market.
Fintech entrepreneurs in this area are providing both solutions towards individuals as well as offer full traceability of financial transactions to Nonprofits or Aid Organisations. Alternative projects range from potential crowdfunding platforms, that allow newcomers to submit business proposals to investors that can either donate, request rewards or purchase shares, to
blockchain-based ID solutions that can be used in other jurisdictions.
Arcadia is impact-based entrepreneurship and nonprofit Startup from Geneva that aims to help refugees to integrate through financial inclusion with the help of cryptocurrencies. According to a report from the United National High Commissioner for Refugees , ‘
cash-based interventions’ increase both the independence of refugees and help save NGO’s overhead costs. The solution from Arcadia enables the NGOs to distribute cash securely by using electronic cards and generating wallets that can be easily loaded with a cryptocurrency Ether. The partner NGOs determine how many wallets are issued and to whom. Arcadia keeps track of cash-aid ledger contract form, as well as statistics on how the money was distributed. Such a system enables the NGOs to generate reports that can be submitted for both taxation agencies and accounting purposes. The solution helps nonprofits to reduce overhead charges while increasing the efficiency of cash-based interventions.
Leaf Global Fintech
Nashville-based startup that converts funds from mobile-money (provided by popular services like M-Pesa) to saving accounts during the journey of the newcomers to their new countries. As newcomers encounter significant challenges connected with personal safety while moving to another country, Leaf aims to limit those risks by providing the newcomers’ with a conversion of their mobile-money with the help of blockchain technology into their own bank-like accounts in which friends and family might pay in if needed. When the individuals arrive to their destination, the funds are converted into local currency. Newcomers can furthermore receive a micro-loan which might help them to start at the new place. The solution requires a mobile phone but, which doesn’t have to be a smartphone.
ZAKA Group Ltd
London-based startup ZAKA aims to fill in the digital trust gap by offering user-hold digital identities at the dedicated point of service.
Once typed in personal data at a ‘service point’ such as hospital or bank, the identity can be used to apply for loan or to receive medical care at another facility. Additionally, behavior data from for example regular top up of a pay-as-you-go phone can be seen as potential reliability for other services. From the perspective of businesses, having such identification helps to build trust between organizations and customers as positive or negative behavior with one business partner is being reflected with rewards or punishment in the entire network. ZAKA aims to collaborate with partners and enrich the market with essential services accepting their identification solution. Even though the solution is not directly instantly towards refugees it applicability can be extended to this market as well.
Wajenzi is an Amsterdam based Equity-Crowdfunding platform. It enables investors to invest into companies while receiving shares in return. The company was created with the claim that the African continent, despite being one of the fastest-growing ones, hadn’t had an Equity-Crowdfunding platform to invest in the local companies by foreigner entrepreneurs or to look for such support by the local founders.
MigPort is an Istanbul-based startup inspired by co-founder migration journey that enables refugees to share anonymously their knowledge among each other as well as connecting with volunteers that help them to solve everyday problems and overcome financial and educational obstacles. Through the app, the newcomers can also earn prepaid food cards for participating in studies and help academics by participating in paid projects.
More initiative concentrated around potential solutions for new incomers can be displayed in the upcoming Fintech Solutions for Refugees Bank Summit in which selected Fintech providers will receive the possibility to work with companies like PayPay in order to release new or upgrade existing solutions.