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Oradian, Stellar Roll Out Digital Payment Network for Microfinance Banks

peter ugwu

Oradian, a banking-software company and Stellar a cryptocurrency-based payments system, have announced a partnership, to use Stellar’s platform for microfinance institutions (MFI).

The plan is aimed towards using digital-currency based payments networks to improve the ability of financiers to work with each other.

Antonio Separovic, chief executive officer of Oradian had told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that, the renowned IT solution designed specifically for financial inclusion by experienced practitioners, will boost the fortunes of microfinance institutions across Nigeria.

Speaking on Oradian's mission in Nigeria, he said, “When deciding where to start, we looked at Nigeria because we know the market very well. Our partner Onyeka Adibeli, based in Benin City, has been in microfinance for over 10 years with extensive knowledge of the market as well as firsthand experience when he was head of MIS at LAPO, one of the largest MFIs in Africa”.

Meanwhile, Stellar was launched last year by Jed McCaleb.

“There’s no way for microfinance companies to communicate with each other,” Joyce Kim, executive director at the Stellar Development Foundation told MoneyBeat. The combined Oradian/Stellar product would allow microfinance companies to quickly send money to each other. “There’s something like 100,000 microfinance institutions, how do we connect them? How do they get the kinds of efficiencies that will change their lives?”

Since launching Stellar in July 2014, the team behind it, led by McCaleb, who previously founded both Mt. Gox and Ripple, has been busy managing its growth and looking for different uses of its protocol.

In looking at the world of the unbanked and the microfinance industry, they think they found a good use.

The partnership, Oradian CEO said, is going to move slowly, beginning with a pilot program in Nigeria, where moving money often physically carrying cash on a 12-hour bus ride.

“This made Nigeria a clear frontrunner. Then we began talking to our established relationships -- relationships we've formed over the years as consultants and vendor. As a result, these MFIs are now our first customers. Having successfully completed these implementations, we are ready to promote Instafin more widely and work with new customers -- particularly in Nigeria.

“Our vision is to roll-out our easy-to-use, competitively priced system, Instafin, offering real-time reporting instantly. Microfinance is our niche, we have been in the industry for many years and believe in what we do. Microfinance is very important in the promotion of financial inclusion throughout emerging economies such as Nigeria.

“Until recently, there were few if any examples of technology specifically designed for the microfinance sector -- for the most part, everything has been designed for banks and then adapted. We started explicitly from the particular functional needs of microfinance, designing a core microfinance system for microfinance by microfinance practitioners”.

Other Oradian's product line include, Integrated accounting to ensure finances and operations work seamlessly; Loans and savings portfolio management; Group, Individual, and Corporate lending products; Real-time reporting; Layers for efficient reporting and accounting management and User groups and user rights management.

Separovic also said that the Company has made significant improvement in the Nigerian market with more Microfinance banks signing up to the software.

Instafin Champions: power users of Oradian's core-microfinance system Instafin in Bauchi.