Stokvels: bringing together borrowers, savers, and investors

Master Thesis


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Stokvel, in South Africa, is used as an umbrella term for Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) and Accumulating Savings and Credit Associations (ASCAs) which are informal financial associations where the members agree to regularly contribute a set amount to a fund. In South Africa, there are 11.4 million stokvel members which make up about 30% of the adult population. These stokvels save up to R49 billion per year yet, many of the people in these communities that save this money find themselves unable to gain access to credit and savings facilities. An agile and iterative approach was used to develop a web-based stokvel management application that allows groups to adopt a structure where there are borrowers who pay interest, and savers and investors who will receive interest on their savings. Four different evaluations were carried out on the system namely, (1) system testing, to evaluate the implemented features and their correctness, (2) a heuristic evaluation with a set of expert evaluators, (3) usability testing and (4) user acceptance testing with potential users of the application. The evaluators and users gave the application a combined score of 76.875, which translates to a good interface on the System Usability Scale. The users accepted the application, however, the system usability testing showed that the interface needed improvement. The system was developed using multiple iterations but time constraints did not allow for multiple iterations of user testing. It is best to have multiple iterations of user testing so that the user experience feedback can be incorporated into the following iterations