This Kenyan Startup Uses Mobile Phones To Build Credit For Farmers

If you want to help the world’s poorest, help them to farm. So says Bill Gates, and it makes sense. More than three-quarters of the poorest live in rural areas and most are smallholder farmers working less than two acres. They often lack the seeds, machinery, livestock, and finance they need to grow, so they struggle to emerge from poverty.

Two young entrepreneurs from Kenya have an idea to help: FarmDrive develops credit histories for farmers, so they become more attractive to financial institutions offering loans. So far, they’ve signed up more than 3,000 farmers on their mobile-based platform. In 2016, working with a financial partner, they helped disburse about $130,000 in loans to 400 farmers.

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The problems with credit and debit cards are bigger than we thought

The Target hack shows our payment systems are in big trouble.

The problems with debit and credit cards are no longer about high-tech skimmers at gas stations and restaurants.  Things have gotten worse, not better. According to a December 19 update on the Target problem by security reporter Brian Krebs, as many as “40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013.” After first claiming that ATM PINs weren’t involved, Target later conceded they were stolen, too.

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Coursera moves closer to academic acceptance

Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, Stanford University computer science professors who started Coursera,

Coursera, an online-education provider is one step closer to academic acceptance, saying Thursday that the American Council on Education would recommend colleges grant credit for the successful completion of some of its free classes.



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College credit eyed for massive open online courses

  A pilot project will determine whether some free online courses are similar enough to traditional college courses that they should be eligible for credit.

While MOOC’s, massive open online courses, are still in their early days, the race has begun to integrate them into traditional colleges by making hem eligible for transfer credits, and by putting them to use in introductory and remedial courses.




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Amazon staves off the tax man for another year


Safe for another year or so.

One of the cornerstones of Amazon’s business has been avoiding sales taxes; because their transactions are online, you don’t have to pay Uncle Sam with every purchase. And now, thanks to some maneuvering around a proposed California law, you’ll remain off the hook for another year…

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‘Fourth bureau’ – little known companies track data used in credit scores


The “fourth bureaus” track your everyday transactions including your magazine subscriptions.

Mike Mondelli, an Atlanta entrepreneur, has access to more than a billion records detailing consumers’ personal finances — and there is little they can do about it.


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New ATM with built-in lie detector to curb consumer credit fraud


ATM detects lies

Russia’s biggest retail bank has invented an ATM machine with a built-in lie detector in order to curb the growing menace of consumer credit fraud. The ATM can easily pass off as a part of KGB’s ultra- modern and secretive operational tool. Other than the rather unusual inclusion of a passport scanner, fingerprint recorder and a 3-dimensional facial recognition, the machine is equipped with advanced voice-analysis software.

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The Great Bank & Credit Card Backlash


The smell of corruption is offending more than few nostrils

Futurist Thomas Frey:  Recent attempts by Congress and the Federal Reserve Board to curb the excessive fees being charged by credit cards, banks, and finance companies have resulted in a punitive industry response with interest rates and fees climbing in almost every category. This action has resulted in nothing short of a full-scale revolt by a victimized-feeling public.


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What Effect Will the Cut in Debit Card Fees Have on Consumers?

debit card

The Fed rule on debit card fees could have far-reaching effects on how consumers spend and save.

The debit card battle between retailers and banks has reached epic proportions.   The plan by lawmakers is to slash the fees retailers pay banks every time a shopper uses a debit card.  Both sides are spending millions of dollars to convince lawmakers that they’re looking out for average Americans.


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