Donnerstag, 14. März 2013

Kiva Zip

Kiva Zip about:


What is Kiva Zip?

Kiva Zip is an innovation of Kiva that will test new approaches in direct person-to-person microlending. 

What is Kiva hoping to accomplish with Kiva Zip?

Kiva Zip ( shares the same mission as - to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Kiva Zip is testing new ways of realizing this mission with the goal of expanding our reach to underserved populations by using new technologies that also drive down costs to the borrower. 

How is Kiva Zip different from

Since its launch in 2005, Kiva’s mission has been to alleviate poverty by connecting people through microlending. By working with a global network of microfinance institutions (MFIs), has enabled people like you to make over $340 million in loans to over 850,000 borrowers around the world, with a nearly 99% repayment rate, as of August 2012.
Kiva Zip is testing new ways of realizing this mission with the goal of expanding our reach to underserved populations by using new technologies that also drive down costs to the borrower. Here’s a little more detail about each of these differences: 

Underserved populations

The Kiva Zip alpha is intent on expanding financial access to borrowers who cannot otherwise be served by a bank or microfinance institution. This means Kiva Zip borrowers may have a different profile from For example, in the U.S. it is becoming apparent that a lot of start-up businesses currently lack access to capital, and that these are prime candidates for Kiva Zip loans; whereas most of the U.S. businesses on are already established. 

Use of new technologies

Through the use of technology, was the first-ever microlending website to allow any individual, with a computer and a credit card, to lend money to a low-income entrepreneur halfway around the world. 

Kiva Zip is attempting to take the use of technology to the next level, such as mobile and electronic payments that enable the direct transfer of funds between lenders and borrowers. In the model, these payments are managed through Kiva’s microfinance partners. Kiva Zip still partners with organizations and individuals that work closely with borrowers (these are called “trustees” in the Kiva Zip model), but in Kiva Zip trustees never handle the loan funds. 

Low cost loans

Low cost loans to borrowers is one of the main benefit of Kiva Zip being able to use new technologies to enable the direct transfer of funds. For the Kiva Zip alpha phase, Borrowers will be paying 0% interest rates. This differs from the model where borrowers do pay interest to the microfinance institutions in exchange for their administration of the loans, and a number of other important services that the MFI provides to borrowers (technical assistance, financial advice and training, etc.). 

Increased risk to lenders

Another important difference is that Kiva Zip loans are expected to be even riskier than loans in the main Kiva model. has been operating for over 6 years now, and many of the kinks have been worked out over time. Because the Kiva Zip model is new, it is likely that there will be many learnings and changes as the alpha is launched over the next few months. For this reason, the repayment rate on Kiva Zip is expected to be significantly lower than the nearly 99% seen on today (as of December 2011). As due diligence methodologies are tested and fine-tuned, we are confident that repayment rates will continue to improve. 


We are excited to experiment with Kiva Zip, and we know that there will be a number of other smaller trials and experiments on the Kiva Zip website. For example, borrowers on Kiva Zip are able to make comments/updates and post images directly on their own loans via the website or even SMS; Zip also offers grace periods for certain industries, different loan sizes might be explored, or displaying loan amounts in Kenyan Shillings; and the look and feel of borrower profiles will differ from those on It is our hope that many of these experiments will prove successful, and we will be able to apply our learnings to to continue to deliver the best experience and outcome for all lenders and borrowers.