Imagine being able to inquire for bank loans and insurance products through an online portal and get offers from different financial institutions right on your phone, and within minutes.
Sounds like a dream but this is what a new innovation, Kopalink, can do for you.
Launched by Nairobi-based Sunbridge Online Merchants Ltd, Kopalink enables fast online delivery of loans and related services to customers at their convenience and in a speedy and transparent manner.
Kopalink is not a lender, but simply links borrowers to financial institutions from across the country.
“The service introduces customers who need credit and other financial services to leading banks, well-established registered financial institutions and micro-credit cooperative societies through a single, simple and convenient platform,” says Edwin Sutter, Kopalink founder.
Consumers can browse and apply for personal loans, SME loans, home loans, car loans, and credit cards, as well as insurance products.
“Customers shop for financial services just like they do at any online market place. Kopalink aims at creating ‘Alibaba’ of the financial sector,” Mr Sutter says.
Kopalink has come at a time when Covid-19 has changed the way people interact and access services.
“Increased internet penetration, a fast evolving startups ecosystem and a well-educated, youthful and technologically adaptive workforce is a strength for Kenya to become a potent Fintech force in East Africa,” Mr Sutter tells Digital Business.
Acting as a financial aggregator, the innovator says Kopalink has built “competencies and created conveniences in Kenya’s disjointed financial services sector”.
The use of the online platform, he adds, will greatly reduce the costs associated with the use of financial services in the country.
“Costs of obtaining loans, opening bank accounts, or accessing credit cards shall be reduced,” he adds. Kopalink does not charge users for the services.
“We provide 100 percent free online financial services to clients,” he says.
As a neutral platform, Kopalink does not align itself to any particular financial service provider. This enables customers to have unbiased information for decision making. Through the platform, customers engage bank representatives through chats from one point.
How Kopalink works
When a prospective customer registers their particulars via www.kopalink.co.ke and makes a loan request, the system sends the loan request to various partner financial institutions. The financial institutions receive the request and subjects it to their internal loan application processes.“The borrower then gets notifications about the loan through their phone, email, and the borrower’s portal,”Mr Sutter says.
If the borrower meets the bank’s internal requirements, they get a loan quotation.
The customer may get many loan quotes with the terms and conditions of the loan from various financial institutions which they can compare, Mr Sutter adds.
If the customer is satisfied, they “Accept” the quote and the terms of the loan, and the bank then respond with a “Letter of Loan Offer” which the customer signs, scans and sends to the bank or can sign it electronically.
“The bank shall then proceed with the disbursement of the loan to the customer’s bank account,” he says.
Kopalink, has partnered with various banks and finance companies providing retail and SME credit across the country. The platform can be accessed across the country, 24/7.
The firm is working on a system where a client can get a forex exchange delivered right to their doorstep. This can only be attained through convergence of services at a single point, adds Mr Sutter.