Frequently Asked Questions
What is liwwa?
liwwa is a peer-to-peer lending network, which connects borrowers to investors by creating an online credit marketplace. Borrowers can access capital while investors earn regular monthly returns on their investments. Borrowers can apply for small business loans online in ten minutes or less. We conduct a credit assessment before hosting to our website - liwwa.com. From there investors are permitted to invest directly in the small business loans that appeal most to them. For a detailed explanation of the liwwa.com transaction structure please see our How It Works page.
Who are liwwa's customers?
liwwa serves two primary customer bases: investors and borrowers. Our investors are individual and institutional lenders who want to grow and diversify their investment portfolios while helping grow the local economy. Our borrowers are small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to access capital quickly, efficiently and on reasonable terms.
What types of small businesses does liwwa serve?
liwwa is available to all types of small businesses in Jordan and the United Arab Emirates so long as their business operations are managed ethically.
Can I raise money through liwwa to fund operations or pay salaries?
No, liwwa is only capable of funding small business assets and trade goods. That's because the funding model relies on an asset exchange to work - a qualifying characteristic of Islamic financing. So while we can’t help you pay your painters or the plumber, we can help you buy the paint and the pipes.
Does having a campaign on the site necessarily mean that my business will receive funding?
No, receiving approval for your loan only enables you to launch a funding campaign on liwwa.com. It does not guarantee that investors will choose to fund your campaign. Currently, the funding period is 7 days.
What happens after investors pledge the full amount that a small business owner is trying to raise?
After a small business asset has been fully funded, liwwa purchases the asset and provides it to the small business owner. The asset is owned by liwwa for the duration of the repayment period. But once the asset has been paid for in full, it becomes the property of the small business owner. This process works similarly for the financing of trade goods as long as they are inventoried - however, once a good is sold, liwwa can no longer claim ownership over it.
What types of investors does liwwa serve?
liwwa serves individual and institutional investors. Individual investors are those looking to grow and diversify their investment portfolios by investing in a new asset class (loans to SMEs). Institutional investors are financial institutions and other funds that are similarly looking to diversify and grow their investments by utilizing liwwa’s efficient technology platform.
How does a potential investor register on the platform?
Our registration process is straightforward and only takes a few minutes. In order to minimize risk, we recommend that potential investors have a basic level of financial acumen and that they do not invest more than 10% of their annual income. You can register here for an investor account.
What is the minimum / maximum an investor can fund?
Anyone with a valid credit card or bank account can get started immediately and invest up to $1000. To invest more than that, laws require that we collect extra information from you to verify your identity. Please register as an investor and complete the form available at https://www.liwwa.com/investor/kyc/ to proceed with your verification request. We remove the $1000 cap from verified and approved accounts. For any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If an investor’s card transaction is rejected, what should he/she do?
Debit/credit card companies and transaction processors sometimes block valid transactions to be on the safe side. Usually, the best way to resolve this is to contact your card issuer and approve the transaction with them so that they unblock it. You can also send us an email to email@example.com and we will assist you where possible. Alternatively, you can select the option to wire in your funds.
How can an investor fund his/her account by more than $1,000?
Investors wanting to deposit more than $1000 are required to verify some personal information. This is needed to comply with international anti-money laundering rules and to protect our customers. To proceed with account verification, please register as an investor and complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) form at https://www.liwwa.com/investor/kyc/. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can anyone invest? Why are some investor registrations declined?
No, liwwa only accepts qualified investors from the MENA region countries where regulations allow this type of investment, and Malaysia.
Unfortunately, USA, UK and EU citizens and residents cannot currently invest through our platform. This is for regulatory reasons and we hope to make lending available soon to potential investors from those countries and others.
Are liwwa loans fully funded by retail (i.e., individual) lenders?
No, liwwa loans are funded through the participation of diverse lenders. liwwa always takes a balance sheet stake in loans on its site. Several bank partners also lend through liwwa.
It is worth noting that bank lenders may require more information about a borrower than retail investors are provided with. Moreover, bank lenders have access to Central Bank databases which allow them to conduct independent reviews of borrower creditworthiness.
How much does an investor earn and how does he/she get repaid?
A liwwa loan typically pays an investor 15% to 18% IRR p.a. after liwwa fees (each campaign has fees ranging between 1-4%) are deducted. Investors get monthly reports detailing their earnings. They can also check this information at any time in their Dashboards. The investor is repaid on a monthly basis as the borrower repays their loan on a fixed schedule. If the borrower is late on a payment, we will work to get the payment from them and will send the investor the payment when it is received.
For more information on how we calculate the IRR p.a. (an industry-standard method of calculating return rate), please see our explanation.
How does investor return through liwwa compare to other market opportunities?
liwwa’s returns are competitive with what is available in the market typically paying an investor 15% to 18% IRR p.a., net of liwwa’s fees. Please see Benchmarks here.
How does liwwa make money? What fees does liwwa charge?
Unlike other financial institutions that have an array of hidden fees, all of our fees are transparent. liwwa generates its revenue from a service fee on successful loan payments, that fee is visible for each campaign. This aligns our incentives with that of the investors, so investors will only be offered the best and safest loans.
The only other fee an investor may incur is a wire fee that the bank charges for withdrawing funds from an investor’s liwwa account. The first three withdrawals are covered by liwwa and free for the investor, but any subsequent withdrawals must be paid for by the investor.
Why doesn’t liwwa provide small business owners with the cash to buy assets or trade goods themselves?
liwwa operates on an asset exchange model. This model permits business owners to acquire the assets or trade goods that they need while simultaneously providing fixed returns to the investors until the completion of the repayment period. The secure transaction model enables liwwa to support its borrowers while extending greater protections to its investors. The asset exchange model, which utilizes Islamic Murabaha, is also sharia-compliant.
Is liwwa sharia-compliant?
Providing a sharia-compliant product is crucial in the region we serve. Thus, we’ve consulted Islamic legal advisors to develop a Murabaha product based on Islamic financing principles. We only fund assets and not cash. So instead of sending the borrower $20,000 to buy machinery and charging interest on a loan, we’ll buy the machinery on their behalf and sell it back to them on a fixed payment schedule that works for them. We are working towards obtaining an official sharia certification.
How are monthly payments transferred from borrowers to investors?
Borrowers make monthly payments that are then deposited into the investor’s account on liwwa’s platform. The investor can choose to either reinvest their money in new campaigns or withdraw the funds to their bank account.
Why does the number of campaigns available for pledging on your site change at times?
We only list the borrower applications that we feel are most secure and credit-worthy. As the volume of borrower applications fluctuate, we may have more or fewer borrowers listed on our site, because our standards for listing campaigns remain high whether we get many or few applications.
How does liwwa assign credit ratings to its borrowers?
liwwa has developed a proprietary credit scoring system for assessing small and medium-sized businesses. By analyzing business operations, collecting records, and performing background checks on our borrowers, we make sure to lend to the most qualified businesses that are unlikely to default. In some cases we also do onsite visits if further investigation of a borrower would be useful.
What are the risks involved with investing on liwwa.com?
Investors on liwwa face the risk that borrowers will default on their loans. liwwa’s ability to transfer payments to the investor is wholly dependent upon the borrower issuing the payment to liwwa. The risks of investing through liwwa, as with any other form of investment, mean that investors may lose all or part of their investment. It is important to us that liwwa’s incentives and risks are aligned with those of the investors, as such, we only receive our service fee when all of the investors in a campaign have received the payments that are due to them. liwwa also maintains a very strict credit policy aimed at ensuring that only the most creditworthy borrowers are featured on the website.
How can an investor minimize the investment risk?
We recommend investors to diversify their investments to minimize risk. If an investor places all of their funds in one investment they are at a higher risk of losing a large portion of their money if a single investment goes bad. However, if one spreads out their funds across several diverse investments, if one investment goes bad, the investor loss will be buffered by other investments. This is why we recommend investing across several different campaigns on our website and not placing all of one’s disposable income into liwwa campaigns.
What happens if a borrower is late on his/her payment or defaults?
liwwa will work with the borrower to get his/her payments back on track and restructure the loan accordingly. More information can be found in our Recovery Policy. Legal action will be initiated if the situation cannot be resolved within a period of 60 days from the payment due date.
liwwa retains attorneys in Jordan who will carry out all legal proceedings on behalf of the Company and its investors to secure the full payment of outstanding principal plus profits. liwwa will also forego all its service fees if the payments due were not recovered.
What happens after investors pledge the full amount that a small business owner is trying to raise?
After a small business asset has been fully funded, liwwa purchases the asset and provides it to the small business owner. The asset is owned by liwwa for the duration of the repayment period. But once the asset has been paid for in full, it becomes the property of the small business owner. This process works similarly for the financing of trade goods as long as they are inventoried- however, once a good is sold, liwwa can no longer claim ownership over it.
What happens if investors pledge money to a campaign that does not reach its full funding goal?
If a campaign does not reach its full funding goal by the end of the campaigning period (in 7 days), borrowers have the option to request an extension of the campaign by up to 7 days and investors are notified of the extension and given the option to cancel their pledge. If after that the campaign isn’t funded, money pledged to the campaign is automatically returned to investors. Investors can then pledge their money to other campaigns.
How can an investor withdraw money from his/her liwwa account? Is there a fee?
Investors can withdraw funds at any time by logging into their liwwa account and clicking on the Add/Withdraw Funds section of their dashboard. Please note that wire transfers may take approximately 7-10 days to process.
For your first three withdrawals, liwwa currently covers the $45 fee it incurs from banks for outgoing wire transfers. For any subsequent withdrawals, you will be liable for paying the fee, and this will be shown on your transfer request. Your bank may also charge a separate fee for accepting the transfer into your account.