[Proposed Solution]: Merchant CRM SoCon I Fiji December 2018

Over the course of December SoCon I has empathised with many different local farmers and merchants in Fiji. We have found a symbiotic relationship between these two parties and our aim is to establish a Online Customer Database (OCD) to strengthen these relationships.

We believe an OCD is necessary because of the results we have gathered from surveys conducted with merchants (see previous posts.)

Initial Assumption:

If farmers know what to do, but don’t have the money to buy inputs or assets, then they are limited in the strategies and actions they can take to improve outputs. 

This idea comes from our verified assumption that farmers could not access capital because merchants charged high prices for products that farmers with inconsistent income needed.

Fijian farmers have trouble accessing important capital to increase yields and productivity of their farms. This can come in the form of:

  1. Access to high-cost farming assets and machinery, and/or

  2. Access to low-cost farming inputs such as seeds and fertiliser.

Our first idea was a ‘token’ system where PEV paid for capital and farmers paid off these items + interest in instalments to PEV through the stores.

However, it was established through our empathising that stores were already extending lines of credit at no additional charge to farmers they had a good relationship with and those that had little risk because they knew those farmers could pay back the money. They also had a similar system with hotels.

Merchants only offered this service to select farmers and anyone they subjectively deemed a risk were unable to access this service. Merchants only extended this privilege to certain farmers because in the past when customers didn’t pay back their loans the merchants had to engage in lengthy, costly court proceedings to get parts of what they were owed.

Throughout our empathising phase it also became apparent that Fiji has a cash economy and farmers in the Sigatoka (particularly in villages) do not have bank accounts for a magnitude of reasons ranging from a distrust of financial institutions or just not wanting to make the trek to the physical bank and also that they like being able to see their physical money. By not having bank accounts and other forms of financial documents a barrier to loans is established.

Benefits to Merchants

Benefits to Farmers

Benefits to PEV

Our mission is to assist merchants in increasing profit and minimising defaults and risk in extending credit to customers.

remove the barrier of a subjective risk assessment by compiling farmers financial information in a single, digital database.

Eliminated risk of defaults

By having an OCD merchants will be able to avoid costly court proceedings

This product also removes barriers in regards to accessing loans through banks.


Universal information sharing

Our database is hopefully going to offers an introductory platform of digital finances and mitigate this distrust.

Sustainable in the sense it wouldn’t need people in country 100% of the time

Efficiency and easy use of the program

This product offers a personalised service for farmers.


Accessibility - an online service offers easy access to both consumer and merchant makes for easy access to their “credit score”

empowering farmers with sustainable growth by removing barriers to capital and finance


achieve sustainable growth, increased outputs and income and provide an ability to expand



Efficiency and easy use of the program


Overcomes traditional barriers to capital


Does not require collateral


How does this product work

Merchants section
Standardised portal:  We have developed a standardised portal for both farmers and merchants. Using a well-designed survey, we have come up with a way to assess farmers’ creditworthiness. The portal will give merchants access to this information. This will, in turn, inform decisions on the most profitable farmers to partner with.

Merchant database: A well-organised database giving insight on competition and their offerings. This way, merchants will be privy to what is available in the market, and where they rank in comparison to other merchants within their area and further out.

Risk profiles: After carrying out a comprehensive risk assessment, we have come up with well organised, easy to understand profiles on each individual farmer on our database. This is aimed at helping merchants predict the duration within which each farmer is able to repay the credit given to them. It also gives direction on what credit limit each farmer is able to operate within, depending on their level of income. Such factors as farm size, type of crops and farmer relationship with other monetary institutions (banks and microfinance institutions) have been taken into consideration when compiling individual risk profiles.

Farmer section
Overcoming documentation barriers: Farmers have in the past been restricted from accessing much-needed loans. This has been due to the requirement by banks and other microfinance institutions to provide extensive documentation. This website makes it so that they can bypass that huddle. The only thing required will be a photo ID. This is aimed at enabling them to access the resources they require with ease to increase their output and eventually increase their income.




  • Customer profiles

  • Interaction history

  • Interaction statistics

  • Financial History

  • Cyclical reminders

  • Customer Segmentation

  • Performance analytics

  • Reporting

  • Integrated communications

  • Document management

  • Automated ticket assignment

  • Funnel Charts

edited on 1st January 2019, 22:01 by Jess Riley

Andrew Vild 6 months ago


A few questions/edits:

1. 3rd Paragraph - This idea comes from our *(verified?) assumption that farmers could not access capital because merchants charged high prices for products that farmers with inconsistent income needed.

2. Formatting, headings etc
You should be able to re-edit post. Use the Bold fonts for heads or subsections of the document and even italics for when you're asking rhetorical.

3. Summary at the top
It would be nice for there to be a basic 2-3 line summary at the top that tells the reader what the proposed solution is without them needing to read the details of the post.

Really good job. Keep it up!

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