Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The Expedier app helps newcomers build a credit history and access funds from overseas.

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A mobile application for bâ draw up a credit report

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Kingsley Madu created the financial app Expedier, which helps eliminate barriers immigrants face when settling in Canada.

Radio-Canada

Even though he has lived in more than a dozen countries for work, nothing prepared Nigerian-born Kingsley Madu for what he faced when he arrived in New York. he immigrated to Canada in 2019. The obstacles he faced pushed him to create the financial mobile app Expédier.

Moving to Canada was the most difficult experience for Mr. Madu.

As soon as his family and landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport, he experienced difficulties.

Even though he had money, he had no credit history in the country.

The one who is now a Kitchener resident created the first digital app for newcomers with no credit history in Canada.

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This tool can allow them to book hotel rooms and rent cars, houses and apartments, while building a credit report.

We come from parts of the world where there is no credit history, but the banking system [in Canada] asks to see that, and so that is the barrier that does not allow us not to access the banking system, to have access to phones, to everything, explains Kingsley Madu.

The founder of the platform has also negotiated an agreement with Equifax which is in its final stages.

The partnership will allow users to x27;Expedite to establish and grow a credit history, access specialty credit and debit cards, and transfer money from other countries to their Expedite account.

There are other similar apps, like Mogo, that are available to help newcomers manage their finances, but the deal between Equifax and Expedier would be a game-changer, Madu said.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Payments like rent and debit card purchases could, for example, be factored into a person's credit history, a feature currently being developed through the federal government.

Typically, rent payments are not automatically reported to credit reporting agencies.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">It is, however, possible to enroll in a program, such as Front Lobby offered by the Landlord Credit Bureau, which requires both the landlord and tenant to participate in the process.

When his plane landed in Canada, the new arrival couldn't even book an Uber to drive his family and their luggage to a hotel because x27;he did not have a Canadian credit card.

Mr. Madu ended up paying cash for a limo.

Once he arrived at the hotel, he was told that without a credit card he would have to pay three nights in advance to be able to reserve a room for one night.

This is the same reason Kingsley Madu couldn't rent a car and had to walk miles home [ which he] hoped to rent.

When Mr. Madu arrived at the house he wanted to rent, the landlord informed him that he needed to have at least six months of credit history.

At this point, I was extremely frustrated, he recalls.

Without credit file at hand, Mr. Madu went to the bank.

He was then informed that x27;he would need a home address to open a bank account.

The experience that the Madu family has had with immigration to Canada is common, believes the program manager at the Multicultural Center of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ana Luz Martinez.

One ​​of the problems that these people face when they want to rent a place is the credit score , even though they have no credit history here, she notes.

Ana Luz Martinez has noticed a change in attitude on the part of some banks recently.

The banks I saw are now more open to opening a bank account for a newcomer, she observes.

It's probably because they want more customers, she says.

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According to the manager of the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Center, Ana Luz Martinez, many newcomers complain about the need for a credit history to rent accommodation.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says it is working with government and non-government partners in the financial sector to improve the financial literacy skills of newcomers.

The organization recognizes that there are some gaps that need to be filled, an IRCC spokesperson said in a written statement.

The spokesperson adds that the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) recognizes that, in certain situations, consumers, including newcomers to Canada, may not have access to forms of ;most commonly accepted identification documents.

These identification documents include utility bills, a driver's license or a passport, indicates the press release.

In a bulletin, the body responsible for protecting the rights and interests of consumers of financial products and services (ACFC) details its expectations of banks regarding the use of coins non-standard identity by consumers who face obstacles when accessing banking services.

The application allows immigrants to #x27;integrate more easily into the financial landscape, according to Mr. Madu, who hopes it will help people start their lives in Canada.

So far, the app has been downloaded more than 10,000 times, he says.

The feedback has been phenomenal. Many people tell us that what we have built is revolutionary, adds the entrepreneur.

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He says that users contact him to tell him: I never would have believed It would also be difficult, but thanks to [Ship], it's much easier for me. I can pay the tuition, I can pay the rent. I am able to live my life.

This is the kind of feedback we look for […] to make sure that this system continues to work, concludes Kingsley Madu.

With information from CBC

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