We seek to partner with local governments, cooperatives, local business networks, NGOs etc who can work with us to set up pilot projects and introduce the sikobaPay platform to local communities that can benefit from it.
Reach out to discover how the Sikoba IOU system can benefit your business or community during COVID-19
In developed coutries, we have become very dependent on the banking system. In developing countries, informal credit is still widely used to overcome money scarcity but often not very effectively. Sikoba is a tool that can reduce dependency on bank money by making the use of credit and IOUs much more efficient.
Sikoba’s IOU platform performs clearing — the same tallying and offsetting of debts and credits that was historically done at village and trade fairs—but on an ongoing basis. As a result, money is only needed to repay residual balances rather than the full financial value of all trade. More trade can therefore be done with the same amount of money.
Although it is an IOU system, the Sikoba application is flexible enough to support a wide variety of use cases. These range from local currencies to direct giving programs by governments and NGOs, micro-credit projects and local exchange trading systems. It can also be used as a way to distribute emergency funds to people who lack proper documentation, for example refugees.
MICRO /NANO-CREDIT PROJECT - Bogotá, Colombia
Instead of borrowing cash, Te Fía users will be granted credit lines which they can use in participating stores. Cash will be used only to reimburse outstanding balances, which can be done in any participating store. Store owners will also be encouraged to use sikobaPay for other business transactions.
Aiming to reach 1 million users within 12-18 month
MICRO-FINANCING PROJECT - Kisii, Kenya
Chelma Advisory Institute provides training and development opportunities for rural women working in the informal sector. Following the training period, each participant receives a loan, to invest in her informal sector business. Instead of distributing cash, Chelma will introduce sikobaPay to Kisii, with the goal of providing the micro-loans as credit lines in sikobaPay. These credit lines will be accepted by local stores in Kisii. The women will also be able to make loan repayments directly in these stores, reducing Chelma's workload.
COMMUNITY CREDIT PROJECT - Manila, Philippines
Instead of borrowing from informal lenders, who charge up to 200% interest, small businesses will be able to borrow from their community. We will also implement a community authentication feature together with Jala, so that users can more easily participate in government handout programs.
Target to reach 100,000 users within 12 months
LOCAL CURRENCY PROJECT - Luxembourg
The Beki is the only local currency in Luxembourg. More than 100 local companies accept payments in Beki, and there are over 200,000 Beki in circulation. Currently Beki exists only in the form of paper currency, handling & counting of paper notes is problematic in times of COVID.
Sikoba will implement an electronic version of the Beki“e-Beki”, that can be used via the sikobaPay mobile app. This will reduce printing costs as well as eliminate the need to handle and count paper notes. In addition, local businesses will benefit from the IOU features of sikobaPay.
Setting up local currencies is a natural use case for SikobaPay. We aim for an easy set-up that will make it possible to start a local currency even for very small communities. Local currencies using SikobaPay can become easily exchangeable with other local currencies using our credit conversion feature.
Of course, all standard IOU features of SikobaPay will also be available for users of such local currencies.
Instead of distributing cash, beneficiaries get a “credit” in SikobaPay, which they can use directly for purchases in participating local shops, for withdrawing cash from these shops, or for sending to other SikobaPay users at minimal cost. Because cash withdrawals can be subject to a commission, there will be an incentive to use credits directly, thus reducing the amount of cash transactions. Both the basic income beneficiaries and the participating shops will be able to use other SikobaPay functionalities, which can lead to an increase in local trade and small business activity.
Micro-credits can carry very high interest rates and can also be difficult to obtain, especially in remote areas. When artisans and merchants start using their own credit on the SikobaPay platform for local trade, their reliance on micro-credits may decrease. That said, SikobaPay can also be used as an efficient tool to manage a micro-lending operation.
In some situations, the poverty is such that even access to micro-credit is very limited. Here, a system such as SikobaPay can help to jump-start local economies. Once people realise that bank money is not absolutely necessary and have a tool for precisely keeping track of mutual credits and debits, even primitive economies may get a boost.
Groups of companies that do business with each other on a regular basis, for example because they are located in the same geographical region, will profit from setting up interco credit systems. Instead of systematically paying each other's invoices, they register invoices in the system and only pay residual balances after periodic clearing. As a result, less bank credit is needed.