Project Everest

Proposed Experiment

[Proposed Experiment] Currency Test to Village Banks Malawi July

Lean Phase: Solution

Assumption: Village banks are willing to share their accounting information and customer data with PEV, in exchange for a low interest loan to be used as increased capital for the village bank, therefore allowing them access to larger loans and more frequent loans for their customers.

This will require PEV to gain access to important information about village banks, their customers, and their accounting and payment records in order for PEV to successfully build an MVP and solution that allows village banks access to greater amounts of capital.

The end goal for this currency test would be to get village banks to use a digital or trackable system to enter accounting data and records, that we could use to track payments from back home in Australia from July-December.

Time Box: 2 weeks

Success Metric: The success metric is the number of village banks that allow PEV access to customer and accounting data. This should be tested with 10 village banks (the same village banks that are successfully offer tested to).


Green Light: Proceed to building the MVP in preparation for future currency and utility testing.

Success Point: Success if 7/10 village banks are willing to share their accounting and customer data with PEV for tracking over July-December.

Orange Light: Orange light may require iteration of things such as the sales pitch, or ability to communicate the value of this exchange for village banks. It is important to note that handing over customer and accounting data is no small ask, and therefore the teams must be prepared to carry out multiple meetings with village banks in order to call this a green light.

Failure Point: Failure if less than 3/10 village banks are willing to give us their customer/accounting data.

Red Light: Red light would be to reevaluate the value we are offering to village banks, and possibly reevaluate our methods for building and understanding our MVP.

Experiment Build:

  1. Build out the sales pitch to be delivered to village bank heads (notes on this at the end of this experiment). This sales pitch should, ideally, be delivered following the offer test at the meeting that will be set up as part of the ‘offer’. A copy of the proposed offer test can be found here

  2. Organise the meeting to pitch this to village bank heads. This meeting should be the one set up when the offer test is conducted (ideally). Also note that this currency test may require multiple follow up meetings in order to gain access to customer data and discuss the terms of this agreement.

  3. Research different ways that PEV can track customer data from back home in Australia, and what would be the best way for us to collect this data from village banks to track it ongoing. This should be considered and fleshed out PRIOR to the meeting with village heads, so that the teams can track this back home from July-Dec.

  • Ideally, we would love to give these village banks access to a digital accounting or cash flow system that allows them to input their data as usual, and this can be then used to track their accounts ongoing from back home in Australia. However, if they don’t have access to digital infrastructure, we need a Plan B for this offering. In order to do this, we need to understand;
    1. What existing digital infrastructure village banks have access to (i.e. smart phones with internet capabilities, computers with internet capabilities, etc.)

    2. If they have access to digital infrastructure, what systems are they comfortable using to track customer data online? Have they previously used any of these systems? Would they be willing to learn new systems in order to be a part of this process?

    3. If they don’t have access to this infrastructure, what is the best way we can acquire past data i.e. photocopying paper records, taking photos of paper records, etc. If there is no digital infrastructure, the team should still work out an actions on for tracking this data ongoing from Australia (this could look simply like getting village bank heads to send us photocopies of records monthly from July-December).

  • The team should flesh out options for the offering and logistics of how this data collection will work, based on whether the village bank has access to digital infrastructure, before the meeting - allowing them to be able to offer the village bank each of these options as necessary.

Conduct meetings and gather customer and accounting data.

  • Note on this: It is likely that village banks have years of stored data, and will only be willing to give over a certain amount of this for PEV’s use. This is okay and the Team Leader should judge at this point whether this constitutes a successful handover of data.

Collect data and determine if green/orange/red light - proceed accordingly.

The teams should then hand this data over to R&D and project development teams to continue tracking over July-December and building out the MVP offering for village banks.

Sales Pitch

Here are my thoughts and a few notes on the sales pitch. This should be very carefully drawn up by the teams in order to elicit understanding and interest by the village banks. The sales pitch needs to cover the main source of value, our offering as a company, and what we need from them.

  • Would you be willing to give PEV access to accounting and customer data, in exchange for the chance to get a low interest loan to increase the amount of capital you have available to loan out to your customers. In order to see whether you’d be eligible for this loan, we need to observe your accounting records over time, to see whether you meet a certain threshold of what we consider a safe customer to loan to, and at what interest rate we can provide. Would you be willing to participate in this with us?

Things that need to be considered along with this sales pitch:

  • Managing expectations of when the village banks would get the low interest loan. The teams could come across scenarios where village banks want a loan right there and then, however the teams need to manage expectations around this. You are offering them the chance to have access to this, if it is proven that they pass a certain threshold of what is a ‘good’ customer for us. The catch is, however, that we do not know yet what is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ customer, without seeing proof of cash flow and accounting data. Thus, the teams should manage expectations and explain that while we may not be able to give you a date with certainty as to when they will acquire this loan, explain that we will be transparent in the process and be in communication about our ability to do this over the next 6 month period.
  • Ensuring privacy and confidentiality of data that we obtain. Handing over customer and accounting data is no easy ask, and the teams need to be aware of this. The village banks will need confirmation that the information they hand over will be dealt with in confidentiality, and used only for the purposes of helping the village banks to obtain a loan for increased capital. The team should work out some plans for how this confidential system should work, and use this for help in the sales pitch.

Rose Martin 2 months ago

Status label added: Proposed Experiment

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