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Top Lending TED Talks That Inspire Us


July 22, 2021 | Jonathan Pryer

There’s a reason that TED talks have developed a cult following over the last 34 years, and it’s not just because their short and digestible nature makes them easy to watch or listen to on your daily commute!

TED speakers provide us with insights into technology, culture, ideas, countries, experiences, and opportunities from around the globe. They inspire us to create change and empower us to make improvements, whether in our personal lives, our careers, or in the world in general.

You might be surprised to learn that the lending industry has been the focus of more than one TED or TEDx talk, with speakers exploring the potential of alternative data, machine learning, microloans, and how technology can change the way financial institutions evaluate risk, communicate with customers, and expand their markets.

We’ve scoured through/binge watched TED and TEDx talks to find the top lending talks that explore the potential of tech and inspire innovation in the lending industry.

A new model of microfinance for Africa, and beyond.

Viola Llewellyn, fintech entrepreneur and Ovamba co-founder, shares the story behind Ovamba’s mission to transform the lending industry in Africa. With traditional credit scoring methods failing to understand the local culture the Ovamba team are using alternative data to revolutionize their risk models. With data unique to the locality helping power more accurate risk decisioning, Viola discusses some of the 400 data points used to decision loans and make finance more accessible. With fascinating insights into the potential for super-personalized loans and how Ovamba is powering the path to wealth generation for its customers this talk is one to watch!

A Smart Loan for People with No Credit History

Shivani Siroya, CEO and Founder at Tala, asks the question: How much do you need to know about a person before you’d feel comfortable making a loan? This is a question lenders continue to probe the answer to on a daily basis, especially with the growing number of people who have little to no credit history. Shivani’s talk explores the potential of using alternative data, in particular mobile phone data, to create credit profiles for underbanked individuals around the globe and, “giving people the power to build their own futures.”.

Can credit scores be determined by cellphone data?

Eric Mibuari, IBM researcher and founder of the Laare Community Technology Centre in Meru, Kenya, continues to explore the topic of providing banking services for the underbanked through alternative data and mobile technology. This fascinating talk gives a glimpse into how Eric and the rest of the team at the IBM research center are creating banking options for rapidly developing countries where traditional credit scoring methods are not an effective solution.

Want to see the top FinTech TED Talks that inspire us?

My Bank is a Robot

In this TEDx talk Freddy Kelly, co-founder and CEO of challenger credit bureau Credit Kudos, explores the option of using financial technology to address the issue of financial exclusion. From automated loan approvals to easy access to banking advice for every tech connected individual, Freddy proposes banking solutions that provide fair and easy access to everyone, not just wealthy and well-educated consumers.

Disrupting Payday Loans

Can the industry turn payday loans into an opportunity for credit? Sasha Orloff, CEO and co-founder of LendUp thinks so. His thought-provoking TEDx talk discusses the opportunity of using technology to create a safe and dignified loan solution for credit-poor consumers that allows them to not just get an affordable loan when they need it but also build their credit history. He also tackles the need for improved credit legislation and education throughout the US. This talk will help you rethink the way you view the role of payday loans in today’s world.

How College Loans Exploit Students for Profit

This intriguing talk discusses affordability of education in the US, the long-term cost vs. value of higher education, and how student loans, which now exceed $1 trillion, provide businesses with billions in income annually. Professor Sajay Samual explores the option of pricing educational courses based on future earning potential to give students the ability to make educated decisions about the real cost of their education whether student loans are worth the long-term debt.

Provenir is a risk decisioning platform that gives lenders the power to easily integrate alternative and unstructured data sources into their credit risk models. Explore Provenir’s platform to learn how you can use more sophisticated decisioning models to get deeper insights into your consumers and generate decisions in microseconds.

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