Trust and Security
We are a low-cost nonprofit community managed by volunteers. Our purpose is to connect individuals in marginalized countries with the chance to improve their lives through affordable loans. We are not a financial institution or an investment service, and This is not a safe place to store your savings or financial assets. We recommend you treat lending through us as a philanthropic activity, and that you not lend any funds that you cannot afford to lose.
These are some of the measures we undertake to reinforce the security of our lending platform:
- We collect precise residential addresses, telephone numbers, and national identity numbers for each borrower before allowing him or her to post a loan application for funding.
- New borrowers in most locations are required to verify their online identity by linking an actively used personal Facebook account to their our account. The public Facebook pages are displayed to prospective lenders in the loan profile pages.
- We offer each borrower the option to provide additional verification credentials, including scanned copies of their national identity cards, recommendation forms signed by local community leaders, and online endorsements from friends and colleagues. The loan profile pages indicate whether these additional credentials have been provided.
- The original national identity card of each borrower is checked by the bank or mobile payment service that disburses loans in each country.
- Each borrower provides telephone numbers of several local contacts who can vouch for their identity and reputation.
- We work with one of the world's top online fraud detection services to screen borrower accounts for suspicious activity before activating new borrowers and disbursing loans.
- When local volunteers are available, we request them to provide a second screening of borrower applications.
- Loan sizes are limited to small amounts for new borrowers, and increase only if the borrowers maintain high on-time repayment rates over time.
- The credit limits of borrowers are tied to the repayment performance of other borrowers they have invited to join us, creating an incentive to recruit only trustworthy members.
- The historical on-time repayment rate of each borrower, and that of the borrower who invited him or her to join us if applicable, is published on each loan profile page for prospective lenders to evaluate.
- Comments and feedback ratings left by lenders who have previously funded each borrower are displayed to prospective lenders in loan profile pages.
- In the event of default, we notify and request mediation from local contacts, volunteers, and leaders in the borrower's community.
This is a purely online service without local offices or loan officers. Our organization is responsible only for maintaining this website as a platform for the transactions that take place between its members. It is up to the lenders, not us, to determine if a business is viable and worthy of being funded. We do not undertake many of the activities that are performed by traditional banks and microfinance institutions. In particular, we are NOT able to offer an obligation to perform any of the following services:
- Fact-checking or guarantees that the information provided by borrowers is accurate.
- Physical visits to borrowers. Local volunteers may optionally visit borrowers, but this is not guaranteed or required.
- Verification and reporting to lenders of how loan funds have been spent.
- Repayment enforcement, guarantees or providing reports of collection efforts to lenders. Personalized collection efforts may be undertaken and reported to lenders on a case-by-case basis depending on the availability of volunteers.
- Reports on financial gains or losses.
You may view the on-time repayment rates of our loans at our Statistics page.