By Chris Onuoha
Aside its numerous products that are void of the usual financial bureaucracy and also offer easy access capital to SMEs and individuals, KiaKia, a licensed online peer to peer and direct lending platform, has introduced ‘Mr. K’, an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning powered alternative credit scoring, customer service, Direct and P2P lending virtual agent.
The platform, according to KiaKia, is one of the most robust financial services virtual assistant around and is ushering in a new era of alternative credit scoring and risk assessment, customer service, direct and peer to peer lending, powered by data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, all on a single platform and through a very friendly interface and end to end user experience.
Expressing his excitement over the new product, Olajide Abiola, Managing Director, KiaKia, noted, “Through Mr. K, we are hoping to further drive down the interest rate for unsecured loans.
KiaKia has always offered the most competitive interest rates for unsecured loans from between 8 percent to 24 percent for 30 days, depending on the borrower’s KiaKia proprietary credit rating, while our competitors have a going rate of 30 percent flat for 30 days”.
Speaking further on the new product, Abiola said 80 percent of KiaKia high scoring borrowers access the same loans at between 7.5 percent and 15 percent as against the 30 percent of its competitors, as well as, connecting credible borrowers with lenders offering loans as low as 5.5 percent interest rate for longer tenured loans.
As well, Mr. K offers borrowers duration flexibility in that borrower could choose the exact number of days between 7 and 60 days for short-term loans and are charged interest only for such number of days, unlike others who charge flat rates.
Through our peer-to-peer, we have been able to connect credible borrowers with lenders offering loans as low as 5.5 percent interest rate for longer tenured loans, the managing director explained.
“We are delighted that a year of patient, meticulous and diligent research and development has culminated in the birth of an efficient model of alternative credit scoring and lending, driven essentially by behavioural biometrics, data analytics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence”.
Mr. K is targeted at millions of credible individuals and SMEs that are financially underserved in spite of the huge amount of private and corporate monies in the financial systems across Africa with the aim of offering them easy access to credit.
Explaining the platform, Abiola said that millions of working banked adults whose accounts could not access meaningful credit and millions of SMEs who could not access short term cash advances from their respective banks can now have access to loans without stress and formalities of the regular financial institutions.
He noted that KiaKia is not a bank, does not provide savings and deposit services from the public, and is also not a fund manager.
For him, KiaKia utilises psychometric, big-data, machine learning and digital forensics for its proprietary credit scoring and credit risk assessment algorithm to provide direct and peered personal and business loans to millions of individuals and SMEs without credit information.
Abiola is confident that the new product will be well-received by the Nigeria public and SMEs because, “As of today, tens and tens of millions of Naira in loans have been successfully granted to and repaid by hundreds and hundreds of borrowers across 22 States of Nigeria, with a Loss/Default/NPL ratio of below 2.3 percent, consistently maintained over a 12-month period”.
The modest result, according to him, signaled and proven the feasibility of homegrown solutions KiaKia is bringing to the table and was achieved through the KiaKia algorithm, which could identify and determine borrower character and creditworthiness.
“As Mr. K ushers in a new vista of boundless opportunities of financial inclusiveness for millions of Africa’s financially underserved, we are promising our existing and prospective users a new era of responsible access to capital.
Access to capital that is geared at liberating them financially, helping small businesses differentiate and grow, rather than sinking them under the crushing weight of debt”, he concluded.