Is there a smart solution to the SME financing dilemma?

Ideally, structural barriers should not limit SME growth. Singapore based fintech company Silot is working with banks to simplify and speed-up bank operations by using AI to help in decision-making. AI is normally a pattern-driven technology that requires a lot of time and money to understand user behavior. In order to produce greater, faster results more affordably, Silot leverages on knowledge-driven AI technology which essentially learns concepts like humans do.

Different sets of data in banks are generally stored in silos. In other words: data is all over the place. When you do a Google search, silos of data are broken, combined and vetted to give you a set of search results. Similarly, Silot (which by the way, is short for “Silo Technology”) breaks down silos in a bank by gathering internal and external data, to create a Data Platform. This platform then transforms data into knowledge, which feeds into a Decision Engine that helps a bank make decisions on four key services: payments, onboarding, credit and other services related to merchants or SME owners.

Banks of course are only half the equation of Silot’s service offering. The other – and far more important half – is the creation of user-friendly apps and operations portals for merchants that help them digitally onboard with banks, monitor credit reports and keep track of payments. By providing technology to both merchants and bank partners, Silot offers end-to-end solutions for payment, onboarding, credit and other merchant-related services.

Working with the Nobu Bank in Indonesia since 2019, Silot has helped:

· Reduce active fraud by 40 to 50 percent

· Link up to major payment channels and enabling cross-border payments

· Create a one-time onboarding mechanism for major payment channels

· Create a stronger onboarding experience for individual merchants and sales teams

· Verify proof of payment, business ownership and income

· Make lending suggestions and pre-approve loans

· Create a merchant app and operations portal

· Create digital payment systems

In Thailand, Silot has worked with the country’s fifth largest bank, Krungsri Bank (a.k.a. Bank of Ayudhya), which serves 2 million consumers and over 100,000 merchants. The key goals with Krungsri Bank were to make operations more efficient and combat fraud, and the results were significant:

· Merchant acquisition increased by over 400 percent in six months

· Customers were able to process more 40 percent more transactions

· Streamlined payments management system cut down operation costs by more than 75 percent

· Number of payment channels up from 2 to 5

· Greater capacity to detect transaction fraud and money laundering, with nearly 30 percent of detected cases being passive fraud

Now, more than ever, SMEs are in need of a helping hand to get through the current economic storm that COVID19 has created. While many of us are able to continue earning a living working from home during this quarantine period, the small business owners that once formed the backbone of Indonesia’s economy are at their most vulnerable. The Indonesian government is doing its part to provide a social safety net for SMEs. Banks too can play a role in helping SMEs get back on their feet and eventually level up by injecting additional stimulus, relaxing loan payments and better credit monitoring, among other measures. There’s certainly no one-size-fits-all solution for banks, and Silot is prepared to work with banks to develop the right technologies that can best support SMEs to operate, grow, and thrive.