As the local banks embrace retail credit business to deepen their retail portfolios and fend off stiff competition from FinTech lenders, more Nigerians are embracing pay day loan schemes to manage their financial transactions.
A payday loan is a short-term, typically 14-day, cash loan. The consumer typically writes a personal cheque to the payday lender (or authorizes the electronic equivalent) for the amount borrowed plus the finance charge. The lender holds the cheque or authorization until the next payday.
When the loan comes due, the borrower can redeem the check for cash, allow the check to be deposited, or pay the finance charge and roll the loan over for another pay period at a new fee. The typical loan term is about two weeks.
Unveiled in partnership with Remita, the PayDay Loan requires no collateral or guarantor, and it enables customers to obtain loans instantly without visiting the bank. The quick code, *901*11#, is a strategic tool for the recently-launched PayDay Loan product by the bank, according to a statement by the lender.
To simplify the pay day loan process, SystemSpecs, the Nigerian software giant has been working with lenders, using its data reference service to automate the loan process. The solution facilitates quick affordability assessments by allowing individuals customer to authorize Remita to share their payment data with the lenders.
Remita submits their bank transaction information electronically, in less than five minutes, during an application for credit. Each submission is presented directly to the lenders underwriting in real-time, providing the bank with a fast and informed view of a customer’s affordability and facilitating faster lending decisions.
The product enables customers to meet their urgent financial needs before receiving their salaries. The bank’s Executive Director, Personal Banking, Victor Etuokwu, said that, “Acquiring loans in Nigeria has always been known to be limiting – either due to access or collateral issues, including the duration of the approval process.
“With our obligations to our customers especially during difficult economic periods, we are emphasising Access Bank’s position in offering lifestyle products and services that meet their financial needs.”
The Remita platform is a flexible cloud-based decision management platform, which consolidates insight on credit applicants and streamlines the risk decision process. For example, the Access Bank Payday Loan rides on the Remita data reference service, wherein the lender extends its credit services to anyone whose salary is paid with Remita.
After giving due authorisation, individuals can for instance enjoy a payday loan, up to a certain percentage of their monthly income.
According to him, “as soon as the customer dials a given code, Access Bank calls Remita and the customer authorises Remita share their payment data with Access Bank, such as their past six month’s salary. Access Bank will then run their algorithm to determine the amount of safe loans such an individual can take. “
He explained that the service has greatly reduced default rate. “In addition, when salaries are to be paid, Remita intercepts the payments and divides it into two. One portion goes to the individual who took the loan and the second part is paid as fees to the lenders that gave out the loan. With this platform, we’ve produced a next level data service that helps the industry make the most of new data sharing, and empowers customers with more control over their own financial information. “
Etuokwu, added that, “This offering is unique given that the beneficiaries do not have to be existing customers of Access Bank but hardworking salary earners who now have the opportunity to obtain instant loans without a guarantor or stress.”
“With USSD code *901*11#, Access Bank will approve the application for the PayDay Loan almost instantly when you provide the necessary information. The application process is simple and quick. Loan applicants can get up to 75 per cent of their monthly salary in less than five minutes”.
All the processes involved when applying for the Access Bank PayDay Loan can be performed right from a telephone device, with a tenor of 31 days or when the next salary is paid. This allows for as much flexibility as possible.
For many years until 2012, SystemSpecs was mainly known as a Payroll & HR software firm based on the popularity and wide adoption of its HumanManager solution by many public and private organisations in Nigeria and other African countries.
The company’s foray into payments was borne out of its desire to extend the functionality of its Payroll & HR solution so that customers could complete the entire payroll processing cycle, including payments of salaries and remittance of taxes, pension, cooperative deductions, among others, within the same application.
According to the coordinator of Fintech1000+, a high-power platform that aggregates Fintech experts in Nigeria, Africa and Europe, Sola Fanawopo, said the payment initiative was originally conceived to meet only payroll needs, gained accelerated momentum and led to the emergence of Remita as an entirely new product and business line from SystemSpecs.
Remita was officially launched in 2006 and was the first of its kind in the market with the unique capability of giving organisations and individuals access to their accounts and balances across different banks on just a single application. The proposition also included the ability of customers to make and receive payments from any bank account into any other bank account including micro-finance banks in Nigeria. This was an industry-first and marked the loud arrival of SystemSpecs on the payments technology landscape in Nigeria.
The Remita proposition has however become widely extended over the years and the brand has evolved into a full financial technology solution suite with components covering: Remita payments & collections app, collections, payments and Remita integrated payment gateway.