Converting Small Change Into Savings
Friday, April 25, 2014
Mobile phones have been a blessing for the unbanked. Services like M-Pesa, which started in Kenya, have allowed millions of people to transfer and save money securely for the first time, and inspired dozens of copy-cat businesses around the world.
Pulse Active Savings is a bit like M-Pesa–but with a narrower purpose. It’s a way for people to save money for a specific goal–say, a child’s school fees, or meeting hospital expenses–while ensuring they don’t spend the money on something else. The founders call it “the world’s first commitment savings account.”
It works like this. Say someone has 50 rupees left over from a paycheck. They go to an agent participating with the Pulse network and say they want to deposit the money. The agent takes it, then sends a text to Pulse, establishing the transaction. The 50 rupees becomes a credit.