Praekelt Foundation, an Africa-based nonprofit that aims to leverage mobile technology to help those living in poverty, plans on using Stellar to help the unbanked gain access to financial services.
The foundation, launched in 2007, has spearheaded a number of projects leveraging mobile communications to improve their everyday lives, among them: promotion of HIV/AIDS awareness, promotion of youth literacy using short stories on a mobile device and an appointment reminder system for those on chronic medication.
Teenagers in poorer areas of South Africa will be reportedly given the chance to test out what has been termed as a “digital savings account” operated via text messages. As an extension of a mobile social network already used, the savings feature is slated to allow them to earn mobile airtime credits in exchange for activity on the social network.
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Stellar would serve as the currency in the system. Gustav Praekelt, the organization’s head, envisions that the digital currency will eventually be expanded for use in a full-fledged savings account scheme. The aim would be to leverage Stellar’s ability to transfer funds, without the need for an intermediary, to help educate the youths on the art of saving money.
The foundation reportedly develops a software called Vumi that powers interactive functionality on mobile phones without the need for data plans for internet. Humanitarian organizations including UNICEF, USAID and the Gates Foundation reportedly use the software to deliver health and education programs.
DC Magnates has reaches out to Stellar for comment, but has not received a response as of publishing time.