Do you have plans to partner with banks and microfinance institutions?
We work with any organisations who want to support and engage with under-served communities, including including MFIs or banks. In this way, VLSAs can access much needed finance for development of community businesses, while financial institutions can reach new markets.
How much is the average cost to administer the VSLA.online app?
hiveonline is currently partnering with NGOs that support VSLA groups. Use of the app is included as part of the initial roll-out package swapping to a subscription fee at the end of the contract. Groups not a part of an NGO program are also welcome to use VSLA.online for a subscription fee per group of $10/month. This is an indiciative cost and may vary based on the region and relative affordability
Who pays for SMS notifications? Mobile Data?
We factor the cost of the infrastructure, including SMS notifications, into the cost of the service and the business model, so that all the users need to have is a device with connectivity in order to access. Mobile data charges are borne by the user of the device. We have designed the plaform to ensure that data cost is kept as low as possible.
Can meetings take place during COVID-19 context?
Yes. Groups and users who access the VSLA.online application only need to have a device with mobile data in order to transact
VSLA.online is administered by the Group Secretary, what security features exist to ensure reliable, un-tampered records?
VSLA.online is currently designed so that transactions can only occur during a meeting. At the start of a meeting, SMS notifications are sent to the leadership of the group, alterting them that the meeting has begun. If there was no supposed to be a meeting, the group memebers are alerted right away in this case. Further, VSLA.online is built on blockchain technology which creates a transparent and immuatable record of transactions. We don’t support “editing” of records, instead users can do a reverse transaction to correct errors, but these are recorded separately.
Can members other than the Group Secretary have accounts on VSLA.online?
All group members have a wallet, which is set up when the Secretary adds them to the Group. Members with a smartphone or browser enabled feature phone can access their wallet, or the Secretary can operate it on their behalf.
What happens when a group member loses his/her device?
As meeting records are not stored locally on the individual device, even if the phone is stolen records on VSLA.online are accessible through the user’s account.
Are VSLA.online users required to have internet or can the app be used offline?
VSLA.online has been designed to be tolerant of low and dropped signals and has been tested in Niger in 2G, however an internet signal is required to use the app.
What languages does VSLA.online support?
VSLA.online currently supports English, French, Swahili, Spanish, Hausa, and Zarma (Niger). It is possible to add local languages.
Does the platform have a dashboard that an organisations can use to help monitor support VSLA groups?
Organizations and NGOs that support VSLAs may opt to purchase an implementation dashboard displaying data collected for monitoring and evaluation. This requires the consent of VSLA groups