Following the success of the Social Lender Scheme introduced last year and the impressive response from the beneficiaries; the members of the on-line community, Sterling Bank Plc has repackaged the scheme by increasing the minimum on-line micro credit from N3,000 to N10,000.
The Scheme was launched in July 2014 and the Bank disbursed over N6million to over 2000 on-line customers. To date, over 90 percent of the loans have been paid back by the beneficiaries.
Social Lender; the first in Nigeria is a modified peer to peer lending solution using the Social Media Platforms through which micro-credit is offered to members of these communities. The scheme provides a platform for online fans and followers who are customers of Sterling Bank to obtain these monies via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Bank in a statement explained that the scheme was repackaged with added benefits because of its success story for the Bank, the quality of feedback from members of the on-line community and the impressive pay back attitude of the beneficiaries.
He explained that the Bank took the decision to increase the available amount because “our target market has kept to the terms and agreements reached during the launch stage, they have been faithful with repayment and this has inspired confidence.”
The Scheme according to the Bank has integrated with existing financial structures of the Bank such that users of the online platform now access small loans by normal methods of withdrawing cash without collateral. These funds according to him are easy to access and are delivered via a convenient platform.
The Bank explains how it works: “Our friends on Facebook or Twitter can apply for Micro-credit by visiting our facebook page, twither handle or corporate website. Users who request for the loans on the Social Lender platform are rated by the algorithm that calculates their social reputation using various criteria. Based on this, the loan is either granted or rejected’.
With the introduction of the scheme, the Bank has taken care of the inconvenience of the existing process of taking loans from banks which sometimes discourages potential and existing customers from applying for loans.
This new line of service also assures that Sterling Bank will sustain its position as an organization that understands the needs of its customers and leverages relevant platforms to proffer innovative solutions which in return enriches the lives of its customers
The Bank said further: The importance of Social Media in today’s society cannot be overlooked as it plays an increasing role in the lives of people on a daily basis. Today, we see the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter and how these channels influence change and decision making among individuals and nations”.