SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Kountable recently announced credit bureau reporting in Rwanda and Kenya as a new benefit for its SME (small and medium enterprise) partners who typically lack a credit history. A pervasive problem for SMEs across the globe is the absence of a financial footprint or a "thin file," because of the limited credit information gathered for these hundreds of millions of businesses. The result is financial exclusion on a mass scale and the lack of access to mainstream finance. In the process of creating a global system of record for trade involving SMEs, Kountable is able to help its SME partners get credit for their successfully completed projects that they may be able to take to the bank.
"Some of our partners may have no credit at all because they're not able to obtain traditional financing," said Sheila Ellis, Kountable's Finance Controller of Africa Operations. "Traditional lenders or banks often want collateral that our partners may or may not have on their balance sheet."
Kountable's CEO, Chris Hale, doesn't think that should prevent SMEs from obtaining commercial credit and operating. In fact, the Kountable platform is capturing plenty of data that that would prove otherwise.
"A lot of our customers do millions of dollars in trade successfully, manage multiple trades at the same time, are communicative, give us the right data, deliver on expectations, meet their customer's requirements and get paid," said Hale. "They get paid against the goods we consign to them as part of our business process. That is us extending them commercial terms. Executing against commercial terms is demonstrating the right kinds of behaviors. Because we have built a technology platform that measures and manages that international trade transaction, sharing that information with the financial ecosystem can help our partners develop their businesses."
Reporting a more accurate credit history for Kountable's clients benefits both banks and SMEs. While it may seem to open up more competition for the technology platform, Hale explained that Kountable's SME partners are scaling and will continue to scale. "We believe it will always take a combination of support from companies like ours that are solving specific problems relating to trade and the formal banking sector that can help them scale their businesses in a more traditional sense."
In addition to the opportunity of earning a credit history or improving one, SMEs working with Kountable have access to better commercial terms with global suppliers from whom they need to purchase goods. In the absence of Kountable's technology, the marketplace is often unaware of challenges that face SMEs such as delays in payment from their enterprise-level customers.
"All we are doing is lending our ability to monitor, influence and measure both conscientious and bad behavior," said Hale. "No one has the data we have; we have talked to every partner in the ecosystem. No one sees the full picture like we see it, so it's in the best interest of our enterprise and global trade partners to help create this transparency and share information to make the network run more efficiently."
About Kountable: Kountable is a global trade and technology platform that delivers trust, transparency and auditability with data driven insights and real-time information from transactions where small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) work with enterprise level suppliers and buyers. It facilitates business between qualified SMEs and multinational suppliers in order to efficiently complete large scale projects for governments, NGOs and corporates. Launched in 2015, Kountable's global presence currently includes offices in San Francisco, Nairobi, Kigali and The Hague. For more information visit www.kountable.com.
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