Moneta: The all-in-one financial app
- A fresh new approach to financial inclusion
Is your credit score good enough to allow you access to a credit card? Or to get a personal loan? In Sri Lanka, if you wish to know your credit information, you must reach out to the Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka (CRIB), which will then provide you with a copy of your iReport, or corporate iReport, upon request.
However, the process as of now is rather tedious, with the traditional methods of acquiring loan facilities and other access to cash transactions are often long and drawn out. The traditional methods remain, as Sri Lanka is yet to embrace the digital age of financial transactions. Nevertheless, as a very first step, FinTech Hive (Pvt.) Ltd., a software service provider founded in August 2019, has introduced a brand new application called “Moneta” to help usher Sri Lankans into an online financial space.
FinTech Hive was founded on the principle of solving Sri Lankans’ everyday challenges with technology. Speaking to Founder and CEO Shayanthan Kanaganayagham, he shared that the company was started on the promise of innovation, advanced technologies, and customer-centric approach to empower every Sri Lankan’s life.
Therefore, Moneta also stands for these principles in facilitating “digital financial inclusion”. Shayanthan shared that the application allows Sri Lankans to carry out numerous cash transactions, avoiding the hassle manual interactions bring.
Moneta is essentially a financial application that “provides credit for all of your needs with flexible repayment options”, said Shayanthan, adding that it is a user-friendly service where signing up is simple, eliminating long applications or complicated terms and conditions. All one needs is their national identity card (NIC) number, as well as proof of address and employment.
According to its Founder, Moneta is designed to uplift people from where they are at now, for which they utilise alternative data to understand one’s needs and credit worthiness in order to offer financial products that can fit their lifestyles and access from anywhere, without the hassle of the traditional process.
A primary example is in the case of acquiring a personal loan, where with Moneta, there will be no bank visit. Also, no collateral is needed to apply for the instant loan facility. The instant loan is designed by keeping people in the centre, said Shayanthan, and therefore the charges are designed as low as possible.
Instant loan charges
Handling fee: 4.50% per month
Bank transfer fee: Rs. 50
Legal fee: Rs. 100
These rates are also what differentiates Moneta from what one would call a moneylender, as many private money lending institutions employ incredibly high interest rates – rates that do not allow people to maintain a healthy credit score. “If you are looking to get a Rs. 25,000 loan and you have to pay 300% in interest, then you are already being set up for failure,” said Shayanthan.
“We use alternative data to understand your creditworthiness to enable your credit limit,” he explained, adding that their service is purely made possible due to the machine learning algorithm they have developed in house in collaboration with artificial intelligence, where they are able to gauge and accurately understand an individual’s digital DNA.
He added that they have partnered with data service providers who assist in analysing these alternative data points from customer devices. Sharing an interesting anecdote of the nature of the “alternative data”, Shayanthan said: “We even look into user behaviours, where a device user either waits till the last few bars on their battery to charge their device or they are those whom are slightly more proactive and remedy their situation before it gets too dire.”
This is just one of the many data points they will be feeding their system. Such analysis allows Moneta to generate tangible matrices that are new dimension metrics that would otherwise not be considered through the traditional system.
This machine learning algorithm, together with the employed AI, would produce a three-digit credit score which the user can grow through their transactions conducted via the app.
Having understood their customer, and determining their “creditworthiness”, Moneta then automatically disperses money as the third step in the process. With regard to this, Shayanthan commented that if you are to stand in line at the pawnshop for hours, that is invaluable human capital wasted. To remedy that, the app has created a network to disperse and finally collect credit digitally.
Shayanthan admitted that they are, of course, taking an initial risk by being an independent company that is not yet affiliated with an established financial institution. However, he believes that with the current nature of the world, everything is moving to the digital sphere, and in kind, Sri Lankans also are moving online to do many of their financial transactions. In doing so, they will look for alternative and easy access networks to carry out their tasks.
An additional service that is allowed via the Moneta app is where you are able to make direct payments through the app; you are able to shop anywhere online and split your purchase into three interest-free instalments and the app itself will remind you, so you never miss a payment and you are also able to pay directly through LankaQR by simply scanning the vendor QR code on the app. As for personal loans, the app offers cash up to Rs. 50,000, which is immediately available with a maximum six-month repayment plan.
Once you register with the Moneta app, your confirmation will appear almost immediately and you can start spending and building your credit score. Get your credit limit and enjoy making those purchases.
The Moneta app can be downloaded via Google Play Store and Apple App Store.