Social Lender is a social lending service developed by the Lagos-based IT company, BinCom. The product is targeted at Nigerian banks to allow them create a community where users can access soft loans based on their social reputation.
How does the platform determine your social reputation, you ask? What is social reputation anyway? I asked those too.
According to the company, “there is a proprietary Algorithm and software to rank available social profile according to several predefined parameters. The algorithm pulls information from the social media platform about the user (based on access granted by the user) to generate a Social Reputation Score. Every user is given a Social Reputation Score in percentage.”
What the algorithm analyzes to figure out your Social Reputation Score includes the social information available about you (you either had to sign up with your Twitter or Facebook profile), the duration of activity on your social network, the investigation done by BinCom’s Social Credit Officer, additional Social Collateral submitted by you and validation of the Social Guarantors provided by the user.
This looks like quite a lot of hoops to jump through. Although it’s understandable; the need to ensure there is a real human (who won’t hightail it after getting the fund) behind the account requesting a loan, but there has to be a way to make the process look less like the user is applying for a Visa to North Korea.
BinCom licenses the technology to banks who can go ahead to customize it to their brand themes. Currently, Sterling Bank is the only known licensee.
“Sterling Bank is the first bank to get on board the product in Nigeria. We have many more banks coming on board in 2016,” Bade Adesemowo, BinCom’s deputy group head told TechCabal. “The run with Sterling Bank has been very successful so far. None Sterling Bank Account holders can also borrow using the Mobile Money option.”
On the Sterling Bank social lender, you can borrow up to N10,000, although a first time borrower is limited to a maximum credit of N3,000. Transaction charges ranges between 100 and 500 depending on how much the borrower is requesting.
“In the long run, we expect every Bank in Nigeria will be using the product,” Bade said. “We are proud of our successes so far and look forward to more success with our new partner Banks as well.”