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Cyclos is a project of a network of Social TRade Organisations from Latin America and Europe. The first STRO was founded in 1970 in Holland. STRO’s objective is to make money more effective, more just and sustainable. We want money to become an instrument that serves a human development based on increased quality of life. As a Not For Profit Organization and Fintech, STRO invests 100% of the income Cyclos generates back into the software in order to create the most affordable payment software of the highest quality. This had led to a fast growing number of Cyclos users: currently over 10 million people. STRO also invests in innovations that introduce new options for regional governments, senders of remittance and associations of businesses to attain more sales and introduce new counter cyclical credit options. These innovations are tested together with partners such as Sardex, Bristol Pound / city-council of Bristol and with Dutch partners. STRO has offices in Utrecht (Holland), Porto Alegre (Brazil), and Montevideo (Uruguay).
The objective of the Social Trade Organisation is to provide a free (or low cost) platform that can be used by different organisations and institutions that are aiming on social economic impact. Cyclos supports a wide variety of implementations.
Banks in developing countries
Cyclos allows local and regional banks to compete with big international banks, because Cyclos allows them to provide cost effective state of the art on-line banking, sms banking, POS and mobile banking services. This contributes to a more diverse banking sector which makes it stronger and more competitive. Regional banks are also known to invest more money in the region contributing directly to the country's economic growth instead of international speculation.
Because of Cyclos barters can easily be set up at low cost, the barter doesn't have to invest heavily in expensive software. Research shows that Barters can be very beneficial to a countries economy in times when capital is scarce, making countries more resilient in times of economic crises. The reason behind this is simple. When the economy suddenly contracts enterprises still have products or services to offer, but not enough customers. Even if company A wants to buy a product from company B and company B wants to buy a product from company A, often the money (or credit) is missing to enable trade. A barter helps these companies to trade with each other through the barter network.
Campus card systems
Education plays a crucial role in the development of a country. Campus card systems are quite expensive and usually require considerable external expertise and support. Cyclos permits installing and maintaining a Campus card system with local know-how. For more information about the Campus card system, click here.
Cyclos reliefs these organizations almost completely of their administrative burden and helps people to find the services they want, allowing these organizations to flourish. Because timebanks and LETS encourage people in the local community to help each other, Cyclos helps here to strengthen the local social cohesion.
Micro finance institutions
A big drawback of micro finance is that the amount of money that is brought into circulation into a region is considerable smaller than the amount of money that is taken out of circulation when the loan is repaid, because of the high interest rates charged. Cyclos can be used to to supply loans digital, keeping the 'real' money on a savings account. The money can only be converted after a certain time or with a certain fee for example. In this way the loan can be provided on a lower interest rate and the tools in Cyclos can stimulate the money to circulate longer in the region contributing to more sustainable economic growth.
Because of the ‘low level’ access channels such as SMS Cyclos is an ideal solution for remittances programs. Currently the cost of remittances are very high and only a part of the money meant for the family of the migrants can reach them. Cyclos can help to reduce these costs.