Nothing prepared Kingsley Madu for what he had to deal with when he emigrated to Canada in 2019.
From the moment he and his family landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, he was faced with financial struggles. While he had money, he didn’t have any credit.
When their plane landed in Canada, Madu said he couldn’t even book an Uber to drive his family and their luggage to a hotel because he didn’t have a Canadian credit card. Madu ended up paying cash for a limousine.
After arriving at the hotel, he was told that without a credit card, he would have to pay for three nights in advance in order to book a room for one night.
It was the same reason Madu was unable to rent a car and instead had to “walk kilometres to the house where I was hoping to rent.”
When Madu got to the home he was interested in renting, the landlord told him he needed to have at least six months worth of credit history.
Says Madu: “We come from regions of the world where there isn’t credit history, but the banking system [in Canada] is asking to see that, and so that is the barrier that does not allow us to gain access to the banking system, to phones, to everything.”
Now, the Kitchener (Ontario) resident is helping others by creating Expedier, the first Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Colour (BIPOC)-focused digital banking app in Canada for newcomers with no Canadian credit history. It will help them rent cars, hotel rooms, homes and apartments while building credit.
Full story: CBC News