Investing in data authentication and detection software by the banks and other financial institutions would lead to the expansion of loan database, improve services and boost financial inclusion.
The Chief Technology Officer [CTO] of Social Lender, Bade Adesemowo, said that the company’s platform has the capacity to authenticate loan applicants’ data based on social reputation before authorization by the banks and financial institutions.
“Our solution is trained to detect fake data in most cases. As such, utilising and optimizing our innovative service will boost financial inclusion and bring more development to the financial sector. Our system is actually training itself – machine learning – based on data we have acquired to improve performance of transactions on the system”, he said.
According to him, Social Lender provides customers of financial institutions access to microcredit based on their social reputation in their community.
The unbanked and under-banked with little or no access to formal credit can also benefit. He said the company focuses on social reputation on mobile, online and social communities.
The fintech expert stated that the platform was designed in such a way to provide loan applicants’ data on the social community to banks and other financial institutions irrespective of locations.
He said that there is a need to “close the huge financial exclusion gap” and expand the options for financial institutions in data gathering for loan applicants before authorization.
He informed that established global financial institutions use credit history, credit bureau data and credit scores to arrive at lending decisions.
“This is a challenge in Nigeria, as less than 10% of the adults have viable credit bureau data and in Africa less than 50% have this required data. Even in America, 20% of the adult population lack access to formal credit. That is a significantly smaller market size, but a market gap all the same. This is where Social Lender comes in. There’s a need for an alternative measure of trust for the huge population. This alternative scoring solution is Social Lender’s Social Reputation Score”.
Speaking in a similar vein, Product Owner of Social Lender, Mudi Ogboru said financial technology is a viable tool that has the capacity to reach the unbanked individuals in the country.
“Banks today are serving about 40 million unique individuals in a country of about 200 million unique individuals. Fintech stakeholders can collaborate and build a strong network to deliver financial services to over 100 million Nigerians who the banks are not serving”, he said.
The CEO of Social Lender, Faith Adesemowo informed that the company has collaborated with several fintech firms to create healthy competition in the industry, saying that the company is focusing on expansion to other countries to propagate financial literacy and inclusion.
Social Lender is a lending solution based on social reputation on mobile, online and social communities. The company helps financial institutions offer microcredit based on social reputation to individuals who are under-banked or have little or no access to formal credit.
The solution is designed to bridge the gap of immediate fund access for people with limited access to formal credit. Social Lender uses its own proprietary algorithm to perform a social audit of the users’ online, on mobile, on social media and other related platforms and gives a Social Reputation Score to each user.
“Loans are guaranteed by the user’s social profile and network allowing users to then borrow from banks and other financial institutions based on their social reputation”, she said.
The company is improving access to financial services across Africa using social reputation. Beyond lending, Social Lender has multiple use cases in various sectors including by not limited to the in other areas including but not limited to KYC, insurance and so on.
It is building a social network for trust, credit and much more. It has partnership agreement with three financial institutions in two countries through Sterling Bank (Nigeria), Absa / Barclays Bank (South Africa), and iTrust (Nigeria). It is considering similar initiative with four banks in two countries.
The CEO said the company is accessible on multiple channels which include SMS, USSD and Web. Recently, Social Lender launched a USSD only channel in Nigeria targeting low income communities.
Social lender is seeking to raise $1 million in equity or convertible note to expand staffing, implement and integrate more technology interfaces, expand its brand and marketing reach, and to expand into new markets and countries of operation.