We seek to to partner with local area experts, businesses and NGOs 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.
To find out how to become a local Sikoba partner, please contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a specific use case in mind, we are open to creating a co-branded version of the sikobaPay app for you, and there is also the possibility of adding special features for your local community. Of course, all standard features of sikobaPay will contine to be available.
We are already in talks with partners in several countries, and we hope to be able to add your country to this list soon!
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.