New member invite privileges

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Julia Kurnia, Dec 21, 2013.

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  1. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear all,

    We are offering on a trial basis a feature that many members have requested: members who have established strong on-time repayment track records may now invite new members to join Zidisha. The new members invited in this way will receive substantially larger starting loans.

    Initially, the additional credit limit increase awarded to invited members is $200 - so invited members may raise up to $250 for their first loans. We will likely adjust this amount upward or downward in response to experience.

    In order to be eligible for invite privileges, members must have repaid at least one loan, maintain an on-time repayment rate of 95% or higher, and at least 90% of their invited members must be up to date with due repayments.

    Eligible members may send these high-value invites from the page "Invite New Members" in their Zidisha accounts. Please note that in order for the invited members to receive the bonus credit limit increase, they must create their Zidisha accounts after clicking the link in the invite email.

    Best,

    Julia
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  2. Jean Wendpanga

    Jean Wendpanga Gold Member Volunteer Mentor

    Dear Julia

    Good idea. Thanks

    KABORE
     
  3. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Thanks very much. One reason we introduced this feature is that we now have a substantial number of members who were invited by existing members, and it turns out that the invited members have exhibited very good on-time repayment rates overall.

    Now that the invited members are receiving credit limit bonuses, we'll monitor these loans carefully to ensure that this group continues to exhibit high on-time repayment rates. We may then make further adjustments to the starting loan size for invited members, or the criteria members must meet to have invite privileges, with the aim of maximizing the loan amounts we are able to offer while keeping credit risk low.

    Best,

    Julia
     
  4. KirstenShute

    KirstenShute Gold Member

    I like the idea, although $200 seems to be a large increase compared to what the amount of a starting loan is now ($50). But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I was also wondering if there would be a limit on the number of invites sent or accepted (from the borrower doing the inviting).
     
  5. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Hi KirstenShute, the main limiting factor currently is that if any of the invited members fall below a 95% on-time repayment rate, the member who invited them can no longer send invites. Thus far we have not otherwise limited the number of invites, but if we begin to observe large volumes of invites being sent we will probably do so.
     
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  6. Paul Gitau Kamande

    Paul Gitau Kamande Gold Member Volunteer Mentor

    Thanks Julia......Does that means I am in a position to invite a member who will have that advantage i.e get a loan of $200? also, how many members can I invite under that criteria or is it a limited advantage?
    Can a member who is in the process of filling his or her form, can I invite him or her too and he or she can restart the procedure under the new criteria i.e if I invite him or her?
     
  7. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear Mr. Kamande, currently there is no limit on the number of members you may invite, as long as the following criteria are met:
    • Your on-time repayment rate remains at 95% or higher
    • None of the members you have invited have an on-time repayment rate of below 95%
    Due to this second criteria, I would recommend being careful to invite only people you know well and trust. If you invite too many people or ones who are not reliable, then you risk losing your invite privileges when one of them does not repay as scheduled.

    In order for the invite to be recognized by our website, the invited member must link to our website from the email you send before filling out the borrower registration form for the first time.
     
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  8. Jean Wendpanga

    Jean Wendpanga Gold Member Volunteer Mentor

    Hi everyone
    Please, members who are not eligible to send invite credits to new members can not invite new members?

    KABORE
     
  9. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear Mr. Kabore, that is correct. Our invite email form and bonus offer is only open to those who are eligible to invite new members. Anyone who is not eligible because previously invited members have not repaid on time is encouraged to focus their efforts on helping those previously invited members improve their on-time repayment rate. Once the on-time repayment rate of all previously invited members meets the 95% standard, then the member who invited them would again be eligible and encouraged to continue to invite new members. Best, Julia
     
  10. Paul Gitau Kamande

    Paul Gitau Kamande Gold Member Volunteer Mentor

    Hi Julia,
    I have done so and awaiting for his application to be reviewed.
    Can I forward to you his name and email address to confirm receipt of his application?

    Regards,
    Paul
     
  11. Jean Wendpanga

    Jean Wendpanga Gold Member Volunteer Mentor


    Dear Julia
    But when invited member who is in arrears repay correctly, the member who invited him again receive his bonus 5000 FCFA?

    KABORE
     
  12. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear Mr. Kabore, As soon as the invited member improves his on-time repayment rate to 95% or higher, the bonus is again credited to the account of the member who invited him. The intent is that bonuses are only earned for recruiting trustworthy new members who participate responsibly, and only members who have a history of recruiting trustworthy members should have the privilege of inviting more. Best regards, Julia
     
  13. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear all,

    I have edited the feature description at the top of this thread to reflect a modification that we made today: in order to be eligible to invite new members, at least 90% of previously invited members, rather than the previous 100%, must meet the 95% on-time repayment standard.

    We made the modification in response to feedback that members were not using the new invite option because the 100% success rate requirement penalizes those who have been most active in inviting new members. The intent of the modification is to encourage members who have good track records to use the invite option, while continuing to exercise reasonable care in their choice of whom to invite.

    Best,

    Julia
     
    KirstenShute likes this.
  14. qt9998

    qt9998 Gold Member

    So do the members who extend an invite get a bonus? How much? For each invitee?
     
  15. Mandy

    Mandy Forum Member

    Regarding the links from earlier to newer loans -

    I think it would be great if there was an easier way to see all of a borrower's information in one place. If I recall correctly, it used to be possible to click on a borrower's photo and easily view a list of their previous and current loans?

    Here is an example of how I currently use the site:

    If I see a Member Update on the homepage that interests me, I will click on the 'Read More' link. This takes me to the borrower's profile page (which, on my computer screen, appears blank expect for the Zidisha header and sidebar, until I scroll down and find the borrower's comments at the bottom of the page). If I am impressed by the borrower's comments, I may wish to contribute to their loan or make a comment on their loan. I am not aware of an easy way to view their loan. I click on the borrower's name link under their photo, but the page just refreshes - it doesn't take me anywhere. I don't know if the borrower is currently fundraising, is part way through paying off a loan, or has recently completed a loan and is not currently seeking another loan.

    As an example, I will use Simon Chira, whose comment is currently featured on the homepage. I can't see a search box, so I click on 'Lend'. This takes me to the 'Fundraising Loans' and I paste the borrower's full name in the search box. '0 results' - he is not currently fundraising. Next, I check to see if he is currently paying off his loan. I click on 'Funded Loans' paste his name into the search box and receive 32 results. The results include people such as Jane Wangui, who happens to have a husband named Simon. I check the 32 results and do not find Simon Chira. Next, I click on 'Completed Loans' paste Simon Chira into the search box and see the borrower amongst the 24 results.

    I see that Simon has completed his loan with 100 percent on time repayments. I would like to lend to Simon if he requests a future loan, so I will make a note of his name. I would like to suggest a feature that would allow a lender to be notified when a specific borrower posts a new loan request. That way, I wouldn't miss Simon's potential future loan request.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
    KirstenShute likes this.
  16. Eliud Mungai

    Eliud Mungai Forum Member

    Wow this is very good news indeed!! Especially given the economic value of 200 dollars compared to 50 dollars. It will add on the learning curve for all Zidisha stakeholders on maintaining a quality portfolio and having real evidence based social impact!
     
  17. Jean Wendpanga

    Jean Wendpanga Gold Member Volunteer Mentor


    Dear Julia
    Excuse me, what is the reason why some new members invited asks for their first loan in the amount of 450 USD and others only 250 USD. thank you

    KABORE
     
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  18. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear all,

    After observing how members have used the invite credit program over the last two weeks, we have made two adjustments:
    • The bonus for invited members is now reduced from $200 to $100, yielding a starting loan amount of $150 for invited members.
    • The number of invite bonuses members may issue or receive is now capped at 100.
    Thus far, invited members have exhibited higher on-time repayment rates than uninvited members. We will continue to watch their performance closely as the first repayment installments for the most recently invited members fall due. If the on-time repayment performance is strong, we may adjust the starting loan amount upward again.

    Best,

    Julia
     
    Sverre and KirstenShute like this.
  19. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear all,

    I'd like to share our perspective on why we have the invite program, and the value it adds.

    Currently anyone at all in the countries where we offer loans may apply to join Zidisha. Applicants who have been invited by existing members in good standing receive a larger starting loan amount. How much larger has varied with time; currently uninvited members start with $50 and invited ones start with $100. Those who issue invites also receive a bonus, but only if the invited member maintains a 95% or better on-time repayment rate.

    The reason we have not done away with the bonus program is that it strengthens the repayment incentive in our community substantially. Invite privileges are highly valued by most members, as are the larger credit limits that are awarded when invited members repay on time. These privileges can only be kept if invited members retain a 90% or better on-time repayment rate. All this creates an incentive for most inviters to follow up with their invitees and to invite only people they expect to be trustworthy.

    Like any incentive system, this one is not perfect. Some people may issue invites irresponsibly, going against their own long-term best interest. Even when that happens, the bonuses for invited members are not so large as to expose lenders to much more risk than the usual $50 amounts for new members.

    Our best determination, given our experience up until now, is that the value added in strengthening the repayment incentives in our community outweighs the risk posed by offering slightly higher amounts to the invited members. This is the reason we have not done away with the invite program.

    Invited members have historically exhibited much higher repayment rates than average at Zidisha and that is still true today. We are monitoring the performance of invited members closely to ensure their on-time repayment rates remain high, now that we are offering larger credit limits to those participating in the invite program and more people are taking part.

    Best,

    Julia
     
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