I am in a savings pool. Like a #CreditUnion, it allows us to make our savings available to each other as loans. But we don't charge interest on the loans, instead members accumulate savings as they pay off their loans, which become available to them when the loan is paid off. Also, we make decisions about loans by consensus, instead of having a loan officer making final decisions. But we depend on volunteer administrators and we need some #FreeCode banking software to manage the accounting.
For more info on Savings Pools, see:
@wyatwerp thanks for the tip, I'll look unto that. Because of the novel way Savings Pools work, we'll probably need some dev work done to make the software fully match our use case. But building on top of a stable banking package could be a lot less work, and less risky, than starting from scratch.
#GnuCash will be up to scratch but its user interface is a bit of a nightmare.
On the other hand, since I guess you'll be mostly just moving amounts across ledgers as opposed to doing invoices, payroll, etc., it might be just bearable. 🙂
Or try the much more basic #KMoney. I wouldn't try to run a business with it but maybe it works for your case.
Would it be really a good idea to give users direct access to the accounting tool though?
If you're planning to have some sort of web interface maybe just have the users enter their transactions via a form or something and dump that into CSV files (or OFX, whatever your fancy) to be imported manually or automatically into the software?
> Would it be really a good idea to give users direct access to the accounting tool though?
In this case, yes. The Savings Pool is a cooperative model, all confirmed members are equally trusted, and need access to all the tools.
The transactions data could be automatically updated directly from the bank, the web interface would be mainly for keeping track of each members' savings balance, progress of any loan repayments, and savings points (see: https://livingeconomies.nz/solutions/savings-pools )
@0 the UI need not be complicated. Internet banking already does most of what you seem to have in mind. At present our admin sends us a spreadsheet once a month, which shows how changes to our shared bank account that month update our internal accounts. What we want is software that will tabulate and present the same interface on a secure, private web UI for each member.
@strypey How do you handle the situation when somebody fails to repay the loan?
@chebra so far it's never happened. I guess in theory everyone could take a hit. But we usually ask for an asset to secure the loan. Also, each pool is a small, member-run organization and new members are recommended and trusted by an existing member. So we're lending to people we know, not random strangers. The consensus process for each loan application includes a lot of discussion about exactly how the loan will be paid, whether we can help reduce the person's cash costs as a group etc
@chebra I'll let you know if it happens ;) After more than a decade of Savings Pools in #Aotearoa, some of which have helped pay off mortgages, we've never heard of any Pool not getting paid back. I think the secret is having relatively small pools, in which the members know and trust each other. Supplemented by legal agreements (a la P2P lending) which can cover both internal loans and interloans between pools.
I've always wanted to see something like this happen for insurance. I mean the way the current insurance industry operates is such an anti-community scam.
I guess ultimately though, hat you're doing could work as such given that it's interest free, with a person just applying for a loan if needed because of the kind of event an insurance claim would normally be filed for...
ould definitely be great to see a wider adoption of #SavingsPools...
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