Did you know: Technology promotes global development
In the West Bank Bahiya Falafayl used a $25,000 loan from an OPIC-supported investment to start a clothing business. She makes regular payments on her loan using her mobile phone, illustrating how financial technology, or “fintech”, helps bring financial services to some of the poorest most underserved populations. Falafayl is using her loan money as seed capital to buy equipment and material. She now employs up to forty women part-time on the embroidered scarves and dresses she sells.
OPIC partner Siraj Fund Management Company (SFMC), invested in the West Bank’s National Bank, which has been a pioneer integrating technology into its services, and has launched an ambitious expansion strategy to reach more unbanked and under-banked clients, with a wide array of financial products.
Millions of people in developing countries lack access to basic financial services, which has made these countries excellent candidates for leapfrog technologies such as fintech. Access to financial services can encourage savings and can help entrepreneurs and small businesses expand and hire more workers.