We are glad to have been a part of creating the website for Village Invest as it helps to build a sustainable economic future in some of the poorest areas of the world. It’s an innovative microfinance intermediation organisation combining peer to peer lending with microfinance. Its ethos is to connect lenders directly with the community to whom they are lending, rather than working in the traditional way via an intermediary.
Why Drupal was chosen:
Drupal was chosen because it is:
- The best choice for large scale complex projects
- ideally suited in situations where requirements may evolve
- open source, thus cutting the licensing costs
- supported by a large community
- powerful and robust - the website receives large traffic
- easy to integrate with external systems
- trusted and proven solution
Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome):
The objective of the website was to create a custom loans web solution that will track all investments and interests. Having the lowest overall transaction costs as well as good responsive design were essential to the success of the website.
Village Invest contacted us with a wish to build a platform that would help poor villages in India. It was very important to lower all transaction costs and deliver most funding directly to villages. A direct bank transfer was needed since it offered the lowest transaction costs, but as an option there also had to be a way to loan with credit cards, as well as with e-checks.
Loans made via Village Invest would go directly to community organisations that have been trained to manage investments through their village networks without the help of a bank or a microfinance institution.
In the first phase, we created a prototype of the website to see the flow of users and what the site needed for a smooth user experience. In this phase, we made sure users could access a place to login, register, browse investment projects and submit loans, as well as create a way for Village Invest management team to create loan or project investment requests. During this process, we had regular meetings with the client to ensure that the vision of the loan platform would be realized.
We created wireframes, page by page, that were afterwards approved by the client. This process enabled good realization of the vision and minimized later changes that needed to be done during the development process, so it was essential that this part was accurately done.
REFINING THE CONCEPT
After the prototyping process, we proceeded with concept refinement and design phase. The goal was to present the platform utilizing Village Invest’s established brand identity, while also polishing the user flow and solve other user experience related problems.
It was important to keep security and effectiveness of the financial system implementation in mind as well as implementing a way for users to connect with each other in form of teams.
At the start of the development process we invested a lot of time for the architectural structure of the financial part of the website. While developing, we dealt with several challenges, including exploring the ways to solve how project investments will be connected with village clusters and website users. We needed a way for the client to input project and village cluster details connected to its financial requirements. Financial part of the user flow needed to follow the PCI guidelines that we implemented via payment gateway reference. We also integrated Disqus service for commenting on blogs, Leaflet maps for villages and video player for investment project showcases. Drupal, yet again, shined as a powerful, robust and trusted platform.
GOING LIVE DATE: June 2017.
After many working days, the site went live. We believe we did a good job making a great user-friendly microfinance intermediation platform, therefore, we suggest researching it yourself at www.villageinvest.com