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The Game Should Define the Score

This is Part 2 of an article I wrote titled Escape Velocity.

If you were to score 100 points in basketball, that would be quite a high scoring output, and generally seen as a good thing (unless your competitor scores more). But if you were to score 100 in golf, now that would be horrible because your score reflects the number of shots it takes you to close a hole. The less shots the better in golf. The point is this: it’s not so much about the number of your score but about what the score represents depending on the game your playing.

Many of the credit scoring systems were not developed for today’s emerging market. A credit score that was developed for another time, another condition, and another market is what is used to score credit in emerging markets. And then we wonder why most people in emerging markets don’t have access to credit cards and still go to loan sharks. Of course! He or she is scored for another game! We are expecting basketball scores when they’re playing football.

Just as we (Bridge) believe that traditional credit scoring does not work in the emerging market game, traditional materialistic, short-term gains driven, and purely financial scores are the wrong scores for helping an organization serve the underbanked. I don’t know how many times we have been questioned for “leaving money on the table” by aggressively dropping our interest rates. We do this because we are clear about our game: provide Access to the underbanked, and we are clear about our score: the number of people who have reached Financial Escape Velocity. Profitability, sustainability, and efficiency are important to us, but only because it allows us to beat those who would insist on keeping the poor grounded.

Let me end this post with two questions we hope everyone will ask themselves:

  1. What am I doing to achieve Financial Escape Velocity?
  2. How am I helping the people I care about achieve Financial Velocity?

If these questions matter to you, we would love to connect.