Lending in the informal financial services sector is only effective when there is a physical outreach right up to the borrower’s doorstep. This is because such borrowers are intimidated by the “threshold barrier” of big banks. However reaching out to them is not easy because of problems such as unreliable network and semi-literacy. Our system is designed especially for this context.
Artoo believes that since the borrower’s doorstep is where all the data points are, it is inevitably where digitalization must begin. Moreover, the best way to impact the operational efficiency of a lender, and to enable financial inclusion at scale, is to empower the field agent to do more for the borrower right at his or her doorstep, making the most of both the technology and the field agent.
Artoo’s technology can pull up credit bureau information in the field and present it in a simple, readable manner. Using this data, the field officer can engage the borrower in a conversation about his or her creditworthiness and explain what he or she could do to improve the credit history: like pre-close an existing loan. All of this means that technology frees up the field officer’s time to allow him or her to focus on building a relationship with the borrower.
Artoo has developed an Intelligent Digital Loan Origination System, which provides digitalization at the borrower’s doorstep, making the most of hi-tech and hi-touch. Artoo’s model combines mobility with analytics and cloud computing, to digitalize the field processes – to improve productivity, reduce risk, and improve the customer experience and further adds a strong social element to the process.
There is a gap between microfinance institutions and traditional banks, in the form of those funding small businesses. The ‘missing middle’ shows the greatest potential in the market today, and is where the greatest challenges lie.
Artoo’s product, with its high technology entwined with a human touch, is made to fit this segment like a glove. Our research into the small business lenders and borrowers, has allowed us to create flexible systems with minimal risks.
A qualitative dimension of this segment is that it consists of those individuals, who when they receive a bit of a leg up, truly pick themselves up and take responsibility for their own lives. Artoo considers it a privilege to serve small entrepreneurs.
From a strategic perspective, we definitely need a handheld solution to improve our data quality and productivity. The field users embraced Artoo’s technology as it helped them reduce error rates and turnaround time, and improve productivity.