Nigeria’s Social Lender set to launch in South Africa

Faith Speaking at Barclays Techstar Demo DaySocial Lender will be launching in the coming month in South Africa. This announcement was delivered by Faith Adesemowo, CEO of Social Lender during the Barclays Techstars Demo Day presentation in Cape Town.

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Keeping children in nursery school

The launch of the PEP Academy at Muzomuhle School in Umlazi, March 15, 2010. Picture by Rogan Ward
When Balogun Idowu’s seventh loan application had been denied he was desperate for help but had no one to turn to.
Even though I do not have a negative credit reputation I do not have a credit record. I also do not own property, which counted against me,” said Idowu.
Idowu continued to search on the Internet and came across Social Lender, a lending platform that determines credit worthiness on the basis of social reputation on social media platforms. “For the first time it did not matter if I did not have a credit record, own a property or receive a high income every month – I could loan money because I had a good social reputation on Facebook and Twitter,” said Idowu.
He immediately applied for a microloan in order to settle his child’s school fees balance. “Social Lender saved me a lot of embarrassment when I urgently needed to settle my child’s nursery school fees. If I did not pay the outstanding N10 000 my child would have had to leave the school,” said Idowu. He said that it only took him a few minutes to apply for the loan and less then a day to receive the money into his account.
If it was not for Social Lender my son would probably have been at home now and not in nursery school,” Idowu added. He said Social Lender has helped him through a few family emergencies when he needed money urgently.
The platform’s website is very simple and easy to use. I also like the SMS and email alert a week before I have to make a repayment.” Idowu said that he was very grateful to Social Lender for giving him access to microloans and for the organisation’s great service. “I want to thank Sterling Bank for bringing Social Lender to low income earners. The service saved me and my family so many times,” he added.

Social Lender gives Sterling Bank access to new client base


Granting micro-loans based on social reputation has given Sterling Bank in Nigeria access to a new, previously unexplored, channel of customers in the youth demography through social media. This is according to Chimaobi Nwaokoma, head of Branding and Communication at Sterling Bank.

Nwaokoma is satisfied with the method used by Social Lender to provide a Social Reputation Score for potential clients by leveraging from data provided on social media and the Internet. Kelvin Igbodo, Head of Strategy and Communications at Sterling Bank, adds that this new channel of customers proved to be trustworthy in faithfully paying back their loans.

“By using Social Lender we are now reaching out to a younger audience that do not have a credit record and sufficient data to be granted a loan through our normal loan application process. We are now able to reach out to people we have never been able to reach before,” said Kelvin.

Since Sterling Bank partnered with Social Lender two years ago they have gained 200 regular customers that would not have been granted a loan in the past. So far the bank has received over 1700 micro-loan requests through social media, which have been successfully screened by Social Lender. Nwaokoma explains that the processing of these micro-loans can be done over a very short period of time, enabling the bank to grant loans faster and to grant more loans.

“Our normal bank loans takes a week and longer to approve, depending on the type of loan. Social Lender loans are normally granted in less than an hour, but no longer than a day.”

Nwaokoma said using social reputation to grant micro-loans helps Sterling Bank to communicate more innovatively.

“Social Lender is adding value to the Sterling Bank by enhancing new innovative partnerships with clients,” said Nwaokoma.

“Our banks even won innovation awards because of Social Lender,” Nwaokoma added.

Nwaokoma said that using social reputation to grant or reject loans has worked with this product and the level of risk involved.

“Social Lender’s service is definitely adding a lot of value to our bank overall.”


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