Sunday, August 18, 2019

Tag Archives: biometric fingerprinting

Malawi farmers swap fingerprints for loans

A high-tech method of fingerprinting is a simple, cost-effective way to encourage farmers in developing countries to apply for and repay micro loans, new research shows. The study, published in the October issue of the American Economic Review,involved 3,000 farmers in Malawi who applied for micro loans, of an average amount of $117, to grow paprika. Like many impoverished countries, Malawi lacks a national identification system. Most of the population lives in rural areas with few government services. Even identification as basic as a birth certificate is rare in the southeastern African nation. This poses a big challenge for banks that need a reliable system to identify borrowers, says Dean Yang, associate professor at the Ford School of Public Policy and the economics department at the University of Michigan. “If you can’t figure out who a person is, you can’t determine their past credit history,” Yang says. “You can’t offer more …

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