CIO Zone startups

Capacity and Credibility to Repay Loan Matters – Co-founder/CEO, KiaKia

Olajide Abiola, Co-founder, Kiakia

The Co-Founder/COO of KiaKia, a licensed online, peer-to-peer lender that relies on technology to provide direct personal loans at flexible rates, Chiemeziem Anyadike, has reiterated that the company looks at the capacity and credibility of the applicants to repay the loan.

“That is why we are focusing on the underserved within the financial sector”, he told financialtechnology in an exclusive interview.

A former career soldier of the Nigerian Army who retired voluntarily in 2008 and founded the company in 2016, Abiola explained that the company’s traditional way of lending relies largely on capacity and credibility to repay.

“We focus on the capacity and credibility in both ways. That you are earning excess amount of money is not a guarantee that you will repay a loan. There are other factors that form the basis of our credit scoring and risk assessment that enables and makes it easy for us to identify those who are credit-worthy to access consumer and SMEs loans”.

These factors, he narrated, included those applicants that are financially excluded but are not captured in the banking system. He said these applicants do not have bank accounts and they are considered as “socially undocumented”.

As an information technology manager, he informed that KiaKia rely on Bank Verification Number [BVN] to authenticate the identities of its primary target.

“What we do is to establish the applicant’s identity with what he does, where he lives, who he says he is. We then validate this in real time with a proprietary algorithm that does credit scoring and risk assessment before giving a credit. At KiaKia, we provide quick loans to credible people and businesses”.

With the understanding of real life challenges faced by millions of Africa’s under-banked individuals and businesses, he said, the company does not rely on institutional data. “We have real and functional understanding of people and small business challenges concerning access to consumer loans and operating capital. So we have a process that is physically rigorous, slow and lengthy, almost invalidating the necessity for financial credit”.

Abiola said KiaKia’s solution is simple and fast but highly effective. “This is where our name KiaKia, meaning real-time, is derived. If an applicant is unable to get a loan from us he is definitely not qualified for loan anywhere else”.