Many micro-finance operations are still paper-based and operate quite inefficiently, which results in relatively high interest rates for lenders. Sikoba can help make MFI operations more efficient in several ways.
Efficient loan management: because Sikoba is an IOU system, the ability to managing a large number of credit lines and loans is a native feature of the system. As all transaction details are registered on the Sikoba blockchain, MFIs will be able to significantly reduce the need for paper documentation.
No software to install/manage: all interfaces, including administrative interfaces, are available via the Sikoba web app. There is no software to install or maintain, and no data backups to manage.
Less money transfers and cash handling: by onboarding local stores, cash loans can also be partially replaced by credits on the SikobaPay app, further reducing operational costs. Loan recipients will be incentivised to use such credits as much as possible, as this will avoid cash handling and mobile money transfer fees. Participating stores can also be used to handle reimbursements.
Option to grant credit lines instead of outright loans: micro-credits are normally given out as loans for a fixed amount, with a fixed repayment schedule. With Sikoba, it will also be possible to grant credit lines that recipients can draw on as needed. One could also give lenders the choice between multiple repayment options. This will give borrowers the ability to manage both the amounts borrowed as well as the repayment schedule according to the specific needs of their business.
Built-in IOU features: recipients of micro-loans will have access to Sikoba's IOU features, which may allow them to increase heir local business even when they have little money.