The increase of SMS loan services has Swedish officials concerned
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.14.2008 at 5:21 pm 3 Comments
Last week, we reported on the good that can come from text-messaging in the context of NGOs using it to build community in developing nations. Now were seeing a story on SMS with a decidedly less altruistic bent. In the past two years, Sweden has seen the birth and rapid rise in popularity of SMS loans.
Most of us think of text-messaging (or SMS—for Short Message Service) as the medium of teenagers, which they use to gossip, pass wireless notes in class, and spread bad spelling habits. The people behind the nGOmobile competition see it differently. They see it as a simple and effective communications tool for the developing world. While most people in those areas do not have access to the Internet or to computers, the cellphone market is expanding there rapidly. And while they may not have the ability to watch YouTube on their phones, they are able to send messages to places previously unreachable.
The competition asked NGOs to think of ways SMS messaging could aid in their work.