Itaú Unibanco, one of the world’s largest banks in market value, will expand access to small loans, also known as microloans, for entrepreneurs living and working in urban communities in Brazil. As the result, some 100,000 small-scale entrepreneurs will gain access to US$167 million in business loans.
The program will enhance the use of cutting-edge mobile technology to reach small-business entrepreneurs who often lack the information, income, or credit history to access bank loans. This allows staff to spend more time working in the community and building relationships with borrowers to educate them about financial planning and spending controls. Loan officers are also trained to work with borrowers who may have limited literacy or impaired vision.
Working without paper also helps meet the bank’s environmental objectives, saving time and resources. By investing in innovations such as geo-referencing tools and hybrid credit analysis, Itaú Microcrédito is able to cut costs further and reach more clients.