Stripe-backed Stellar's new integration gives poor South African girls savings accounts | VentureBeat | Mobile | by Ruth Reader. Mobile executive? VB is hosting our 5th annual Mobile Summit on February 23–24 at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, CA. See if you qualify here. Digital currency’s potential to do good in the developing world just got a little clearer with a new partnership announced today. Stellar, a nonprofit that’s building a global digital platform for transferring money, is teaming up with Vumi, an open-source text messaging network, to empower women in South Africa by giving them easy access to a mobile savings account through a new program called Give a Girl a Savings Account. Stellar — which digital payment company Stripe invested $3 million in — wants to use its network to serve those in disadvantaged communities.
Vumi has a user base of 15 million in select countries within Africa, and it already operates regional mass-messaging campaigns. Now Vumi and Stellar will pilot the asset savings program for women in South Africa. Stellar was cofounded by Kim along with Jed McCaleb. Stellar - Public infrastructure for money. A Bitcoin-Inspired Digital Currency, Stellar, Will Power Mobile Savings Accounts for Poor Teenage Girls. Is the success of M-Pesa ‘empowering’ Kenyan rural women? M-Pesa (“M” for mobile, pesa is Swahili for money) in Kenya is one of the most celebrated success stories of information and communication technologies (ICTs) allowing poor communities to access a revolutionary bank service.
M-Pesa entails the use of a mobile phone to make immediate money transfers from town to village and vice versa, saving time and money, facilitating rapid solutions to the daily problems affecting vulnerable communities, and opening up new ways to manage the cash flow of people whose lives can be improved with very small amounts. At the national level, this technology revolution touches the lives of nearly 70% of Kenyan adults who transfer money to each other via their mobile phones. Kenya ranks number one worldwide in this domain: more than US$320 million is transferred via Kenyan mobile phones each month, which represents roughly a quarter of the country’s gross national product (GNP).
The women’s transportation expenses have drastically gone down too. mWomen: Where Mobile Tech and Women Intersect. If you’re active on Twitter you’ve probably come across the hashtag #mWomen. mWomen is a new tagline referring to mobile tools and programs centered on the needs of women, usually those living in developing countries. Typical mWomen projects involve: ▪ Promoting literacy and educational opportunities for girls and women through targeted SMS messages; ▪ Improving access to health services and providing useful tips and advice to pregnant women, new mothers, families affected by HIV/AIDS or other communicable and non-communicable diseases alike through mobile channels; ▪ Targeting female entrepreneurs, small business owners, and agricultural workers with relevant market information, up-to-date prices, weather reports, tips and advice for expanding their business or improving productivity.
For mWomen programs to take off, we need more women to be connected to the technology. Why Does This Matter? What Are the Barriers to Mobile Phone Ownership? So What? Go to Source No tags for this post. Cellphones for Women in Developing Nations Aid Ascent From Poverty. Photo Here is what life is like for a woman with no bank account in a developing country. She keeps her savings hidden — in pots, under mattresses, in fields. She constantly worries about thieves. She may even worry about her husband taking cash she has budgeted for their children’s needs. Sending money to a family member in another village is risky and can take days. An unexpected expense can mean she has to pull a child out of school or sell a cow the family relies on for income. In ways big and small, life without access to financial services is more difficult, expensive and dangerous.
Continue reading the main story So it is not hard to understand why the spread of new digital financial services to the world’s poorest places has been heralded as a breakthrough with the potential to alter the global economy. But this vision of the future won’t materialize on its own. Even though this technology is spreading rapidly, it is not spreading to women equally.