Thought Machine’s Modern Core Enables Nikel to Close the Small Business Credit Gap

Thought Machine’s Modern Core Enables Nikel to Close the Small Business Credit Gap

by September 25, 2023

Thought Machine, a cloud-native banking technology company, has empowered Nikel, a fintech startup that unlocks credit for millions in Southeast Asia, to streamline its lending process and develop new products more quickly.

Founded in 2018, Nikel which rebranded from Impact Credit Solutions, offers small businesses access to loans through their digitally embedded lending platform.

They offer banks and other companies a digital lending solution covering everything from loan origination to underwriting to collections.

With many small businesses moving online, they required bespoke loan products to meet their specific needs. Thus, in order to offer these products online, orchestration between many parties was crucial.

It’s not just a bank lending directly to a borrower anymore. Instead, it’s an ecosystem that includes e-commerce, marketplaces, service providers and others. Nikel’s solution brings these parties together.

As a result, it was essential for Nikel to adopt a modern core platform, such as Vault Core, to streamline the entire lending journey, from borrower onboarding, loan requests to disbursement and repayment.

With further ambitions to expand their service, Nikel needed to build more flexibility, scale and configurability into the platform and, at the same time, develop their service with new products.

Thought Machine’s core banking platform, Vault Core, running on microservices, would give Nikel the flexibility to migrate existing services and offer new services as modules – all of which would be managed from one single platform.

Nikel adopted Vault Core and went live with their first product within 90 days before launching the next product with minimal support needed from Thought Machine. With Vault Core, Nikel has been able to design complex products and features — and reduce their time-to-market by half each time.

thought machine nikel


For example, Nikel wanted to build a lending product specifically for the Islamic community. Leveraging Thought Machine’s smart contract capabilities, Nikel designed a Sharia-compliant end-to-end lending product that increases disbursement speed and gives investors real-time transparency on their loan book.

Vault Core also allowed Nikel to digitise the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, using e-signatures and e-contracts. Lenders in Indonesia typically check multiple identification documents to comply with local KYC regulations.

Conducting this verification process in person during the COVID-19 pandemic was nearly impossible. With Vault Core, Nikel delivered an all-new e-signature product which digitised the entire process.

The synergy of Vault Core’s advanced technology and Nikel’s incredible ambition will create a more inclusive lending ecosystem, significantly favouring small businesses across the region.

Watch this video to hear from their CEO, Reinier Musters, on Nikel’s vision, and how Vault Core has enabled them to deliver on their purpose.