The new Zidisha

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Julia Kurnia, Oct 5, 2014.

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  1. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Hi questionmark,

    This detailed review is enormously helpful - I can't thank you enough!

    Today we made the following changes in the new website, and they should be deployed shortly:
    • Added the display of VM status in the Lend and profile pages, along with a list of mentees
    • Removed expired loans from the "Other loans list"
    • Reintroduced the option to display funded loans in one's profile page
    • Corrected the status label for loans pending disbursement in the "Your Loans" page
    Regarding other points you mentioned:
    • To clarify, do you mean that the amount repaid and outstanding is zero in the "Your Loans" page? Are these loans made with invite credit?
    • Installment amount adjustment (the old "rescheduling") comments are now displayed in the "Discussion" tab, along with the other comments.
    • The functionality to not display inactive VMs and to remove the option to choose onself as a VM is on our to-do list.
    • We allow borrowers to accept partial loans, in keeping with our general principle of allowing flexibility and trusting borrowers to make prudent decisions about their loan use. The reality is that many borrowers supplement loans with their own savings anyway, especially early on when maximum loan sizes are small, and business plans often change in response to changing circumstances.
    • We allow borrowers to modify installment amounts soon after disbursement because it is common for borrowers to make a mistake when filling out the loan application form, or for circumstances to change between application and the first installment due date.
    • When installment amounts are reduced to the minimum allowed, the repayment schedule lengthens to five years. The intent is not that the loan takes that long to repay, but rather that the installment amounts are increased again when financial circumstances improve, resulting in a repayment period comparable to the original one.
    Most of the policy decisions at Zidisha are tradeoffs. Offering the flexibility to adjust repayment installments up and down, including making the installments very small during times of hardship, makes full repayment of the loan more likely, minimizes the risk that the obligation to repay will cause harm, and makes it more likely that the loans will have a positive impact on borrowers' lives. We considered that these benefits outweigh the drawbacks of allowing installment amount modifications.

    Finally, I'd like to apologize for missing your emails. We did not receive any of your messages, and have just discovered them in the spam filter. We'll respond to those right away.
  2. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

  3. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear Mr. Waweru, I'm so sorry for the trouble. We'll repair that as soon as possible.
  4. Julia Kurnia

    Julia Kurnia Director, Zidisha Zidisha Staff

    Dear Ms. Mwangi,
    I'm so sorry for the trouble. I have added this to our list of things to repair.
    Joseph Gatiba and John Macharia like this.
  5. Joseph Gatiba

    Joseph Gatiba Gold Member Volunteer Mentor

    Helo Ms Julia concerning the Kenyans repayments what happens if for a certain day the mpesa services are not working or are down? and the borrower is forced by circumstances to skip his repayment for a day? will this affect his on time repayment % how can this be resolved since I am already a victim here?
  6. sputnik

    sputnik Forum Member

    @Julia Kurnia That's where a lender will never find them when trying to decide whether to lend so someone new. PLEASE change that back to how it was before, this is extremely important information for lenders!
    aeroplane and questionmark like this.
  7. Tobias Lengo

    Tobias Lengo Forum Member

    @Julia Kurnia This case complicates everything. For this case this lender whose previous installments was Ksh. 2,656 was advised to reschedule so as to be able to pay due to some of the difficulties he was experiencing with cash flow. A you can see the system could not allow him to reschedule. After entering the amount that was Ksh 1000 the response is as you can see below, double of what he or she was paying before.

    This page allows you to increase or decrease your loan repayment installment amounts. If you choose to decrease your installment amounts, you will be asked to pay interest for the additional time the loan will be held, at the same annual interest rate as is applied to your current loan repayment schedule. If you increase your installment amounts, the interest you will be asked to pay will be reduced.

    New Installment Amount

    Please enter the new amount you wish to pay at each installment.
    KES The installment amount must be at least 4158.00.
    Reason Please explain here the reason for the change in the repayment schedule (as much as you are comfortable sharing). This will be posted on your public loan profile page.

    It is factual that I am no longer a VM due to the reasons I gave prior, however, I am still an active member of this family, hence, I am concerned. Can you please address this comprehensively. My second concern, that there is a member that I invited to Zidisha, and she wanted to make a second application, and funny enough she missed the loan application option. You can see for yourself that she has been on time with her payment with 100% rate. The member's link My observation as much as the change is laudable, it has caused a lot of confusion to most of the borrowers and if the issues raised are not addressed adequately, then this venture might end up with several unresolved issues. All said and done please revert to the old system and only launch the new one once it is tested as a pilot project till it is effective. So far quite ineffective.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  8. begood

    begood Forum Member

    I don't understand the reasoning behind the colors on the site. On my loans page, repaying late is blue, repaying early is orange. Fundraising loans are red. The convention of red/orange - bad, blue - neutral, green - good is pretty universal. Why change it?

    On another note, fully funded loans should be removed from the featured loans list.
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  9. questionmark

    questionmark Forum Member

    Glad I could be of help @Julia Kurnia ! Thanks also for adressing/correcting some of the issues I mentioned.

    Regarding to your question as to amount repaid/outstanding showing as zero. Yes, they are loans made with invite credit, but I still don't understand why the individual loans are listed as having zero Amount Repaid and zero Amount Outstanding. That is something different as the Lending credit available ( listed under current status), that obviously should not include invited credit.

    Most importantly, I'm sure you are aware of the discussions on this forum about partial funding and reschedules. If not, I'll gladly post here the links to the different threads.
    Both issues are not sitting well with lenders (and in part also not with borrowers) and there are lot of constructive suggestions as to possible compromises/solutions.
    To sum up my point of view: the problem with partial lending is exactly that it changes the original business plan! As stated by Zidisha FAQ:
    "[...] It is up to the lenders to determine if a proposed business venture is viable and worthy of being funded." Yet, how is it possible for lenders to determine whether a loan/business plan is viable and worthy of support if it changes even before the loan is disbursed? If borrowers have that freedom to make the loan more suitable before they get the money then at least lenders should have the possibility to re-assess their involvement in that loan (including withdrawing their bids). But a possibly better/simpler solution is to prohibit partial lending, and have borrowers reapply (I know it's frustrating, but so is life).
    As to reschedules: I think we all agree that under some circumstances reschedules are a good option and that most (or some, do we know?) borrowers use this option in a responsible way. Yet, there are also some (many?) examples where this option was/is abused, and that is detrimental not only for lenders but formost for other borrowers.
    In the different threads there are really good suggestions and I cannot summarize them all, you should really read them and possible engage/take part in the discussion. Just to mention a few: limit the number of reschedules (I'm not a fan of this suggestion) , limit the rescheduling to +x% of the original time per use of this function, or limit the rescheduling to +x% of the original time per loan, modify the rescheduling option to permit the deferral of specific payments only.

    I really really hope you and your team will read and think carefully about these issues, because as you said is a trade-off. But lenders are part of this 'trade' and if they leave or lend less because of these (and other) issues, everybody loses - above all borrowers!

    Meanwhile: please reinstate the "rescheduling" comments as a separate category, because as @sputnik points out it is really impractical for new lenders to go through many comments to see why and how the borrowers reschedule. In addition I noticed that in the 'new' Zidisha the loan period is displayed only for fundraising loans. Once the loans are disimbursed the loan period disappears and instead there is only the date of disimbursment. And may I suggest that when you reinstate the loan period you display both the original Repayment Period as well as the current/final Repayment Period. This would be in my view a easy readble information for lenders.
  10. sputnik

    sputnik Forum Member

    They are back. :)

    Fully agree.
    KirstenShute and questionmark like this.
  11. sputnik

    sputnik Forum Member

    In the "Almost Funded" lending section, can you please sort loans according to dollar amount left (as before) and not to percentage? That will be much more helpful.
  12. Tobias Lengo

    Tobias Lengo Forum Member

    @Julia Kurnia I have come to realize the payment instructions feature is not east to locate or not available. As I was paying my loan, I tried to confirm the business number for MPESA( Kenyan Payment System) and could not find it. I had to confirm with other information available online to get it right. The the issue of this member to apply for the second loan is not yet resolved. Thus, she has tried to locate the loan application page with no success, she has so far completed paying her first loan.
  13. Amos

    Amos Forum Member

    I congratulate Zidisha for its new launch..I noticed something amiss while I was going through my profile. <<>>>>>> the total amount loan paid and loan amount balance is no longer there as it used to be. .I hope it will be resolved..
  14. Nicklas

    Nicklas Forum Member

    Currently there seems to be no way of getting the transaction history in any more usable form than the paginated web page. This leads to that we have to copy/paste data from there into Excel to make some kind of usable statistics/analysis. (It would be very nice to get all the data in Excel, but that is a different issue -

    However, with the changes to the new layout, there are a few changes to the transaction history as well. And I'm wondering if you realize that it messes with the ways people work with the data. Not that it's a blocker or anything, it's just inconvenient that some formats have changed. Now either I have to manage both ways of representing the data, or I have to copy all data again... Things that I've noticed so far:
    • Added a $ sign to the currencies
    • Changed the date format from "Oct 01, 2014" to "Oct 1, 2014"
  15. Evelyn

    Evelyn Forum Member

    I am also seeing this same problem. No, it's not invite credit. In my lender account I'm seeing it for the loans that have recently moved into the active loan section from fundraising. Ex: $3 lent $0 repaid $ $0 outstanding. It should say $3 outstanding.
  16. questionmark

    questionmark Forum Member

    @Julia Kurnia @jonas strange codes (htlm codes, I believe) are now visible on the borrower profiles.

    For example the invitee list now reads like:
    <a href="">Emmanuel Larbi</a> <span class="label label-success">On Time</span>

    And in the discussion sections, (some) comments read like this:
    Hello Samuel,<br /> congratulations on your fully funded loan!<br />

    Translated by <a href="">questionmark</a>

    Anout me/my business/loan proposal sections
    here as well there are some <br /> codes

    Moreover, I noticed that you have changed the format for borrowers profile pictures. Did you inform the borrowers of this change??
    Many of the pictures are now real messy and cut off at strange places. Given the emphasis you give to good pictures and the number of expiring loans, I think it would be good and fair to warn the borrowers of this change so that they can change their pictures accordingly

    Edited to add:
    and also wrong labels for feedback, at least older negative feedback: instead of negative they appear neutral
    see for example here (in a discussion post the lender wrote explicitly negative feedback)
    and here
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
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  17. Joseph Gatiba

    Joseph Gatiba Gold Member Volunteer Mentor

    I have also noticed in the Vm page if a member is in arrears it doesn't reflect the past due as it used to be before it only displays the, Expected payments which doesn't reflect any figures then actual payments which is displaying payments in terms of weeks.
  18. Peter Karanja

    Peter Karanja Forum Member

    Hi @ Julia Kurnia,

    I held a discussion sometime last week with you on this forum about not being able to log into my account using my email address ( and password. I still can't log in.

    Also it's been three weeks since I applied for a zidisha account. I just want to know if you received my application. Kindly note that doesn't mean I am being impatient. I understand that there are many accounts pending review and I will wait while remaining hopeful and optimistic. Just want to know if my application was received. Kindly let me know if there's anything I need to do on my side.

    Peter Karanja
  19. qt9998

    qt9998 Gold Member

    Under Statistics, figures for 'Past 1 month' are all zero.
  20. Oscar Alochi

    Oscar Alochi Gold Member Volunteer Mentor

    The new web layout interface is very nice and new features also added thank Team Zidisha for your new web page.
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