Our most recent survey targeted borrowers who joined us after the introduction of the Facebook online identity verification requirement for new members. The purpose was to learn more about how this demographic differs from previously admitted borrowers.
The survey was sent to new members in Indonesia, Kenya and Senegal, the three countries where we recently began requiring applicants to verify their online identity by linking a personal Facebook account. It consisted of a series of free-response questions. Here are some highlights:
- The average monthly household income cited by survey respondents was US $138 (US $1,659 per year).
- 80% of respondents reported using the internet daily. The most frequently cited websites visited were Facebook, Yahoo, and local and international news sites.
- 65% of respondents found Zidisha through the recommendation of a friend or colleague. The remaining 35% found Zidisha via a web search.
- When asked the reason for choosing Zidisha over other lending services, the most commonly given reason was the dramatically lower interest rate. Other frequently cited reasons were Zidisha’s flexibility, simplicity compared with the cumbersome application process and bureaucracy of traditional banks, the elements of trust and human connection, and the lack of collateral requirements.
- 100% of survey respondents reported that they would recommend Zidisha to others, and many added that they were already actively doing this.
- When asked what was the most difficult part of the application process, the most frequently cited response was the requirement to obtain the endorsement of other internet-using colleagues. Other difficulties cited by respondents included technical problems with the Facebook authentication functionality, long response time to customer support emails, difficulties scanning and uploading supporting documents, and having to type 500 characters to complete the “About Me” and “About My Business” sections of the borrower profile.
- When asked about improvements they would like to see, by far the most frequently cited suggestion was to increase maximum loan sizes, especially for first-time borrowers.
This advice helped inform the recent decisions to reduce the number of required endorsers for new applicants from five to three, and to introduce a borrower invite feature which increases the maximum loan size of members who demonstrate responsible engagement in our community by inviting new members who maintain good on-time repayment rates. We will continue to adjust and improve our online lending platform in response to member feedback.
Our sincere thanks once again to all members who took the time to participate in this survey.