BY: Yinka Okeowo
Lendtech platform operators in the country have urged the federal government through the office of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to disburse TraderMoni loans through the technology platforms in order to attract more Nigerians into the financial inclusion net.
TraderMoni is an empowerment scheme of the federal government created for petty traders and artisans across Nigeria. It is a loan programme.
Co-founder and CEO, Social Lender, Faith Adesemowo said that lending technology companies across the country have been using technology to disburse loans to people irrespective of their status with different measures to determine their ability and willingness to pay back.
She cited the example of Social Lender’s social reputation score, which can be used to profile applicants’ details in order to ascertain who is eligible for loan and loan repayment.
A similar procedure should be extended to the “petty traders and artisans who are a direct beneficiary of TraderMoni”, she said.
She added that the score will evaluate the type and size of formal credit the trader requires for her business or personal needs.
According to her, if TraderMoni partners with the lendtech firms’ such cooperation will ensure that before loans are disbursed, recipients would have gone through financial literacy sessions to educate the applicants on money management, investment instruments and the benefits accruable from such venture.
“Currently our loan default ratio is under 5%. This is good for unsecured lending if you compared with the microfinance and other conventional lenders.”
She explained that Social Lender is a digital financial services platform that financial institutions can leverage to extend service and value to the under-served and unbanked demography.
Co-founder, Kiakia, Olajide Abiola said that Kiakia has disbursed loans to over 10,000 members of Nigeria Farmers’ Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) and the Association of Vocational Artisans in Nigeria (ASVAN) and the process has allowed members of these organizations to operate bank accounts for the first time in their lives. “They are now financially included”, he said.
Olajide stressed that with the huge impact KiaKia has had on people’s lives, the federal government should view the platform as a veritable vehicle for the disbursement of loans to traders across the country.
He said that the approach of KiaKia to lending has fostered growth through responsible borrowing and application of funds. This, according to him, has resulted in non-perform-loan [NPL] of below 2% in the last 3 years.
“As a digital lending platform, we combine a mix of strategies that have made loan repayment of its unsecured and secured credit facilities effective”, he said.
He said KiaKia leverages insurance and movable assets as collaterals to enable SMEs access to critical working capital.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Xpress Payments, Oluwadare Owolabi said that financial inclusion allows people and businesses to have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs.
Owolabi said that Xpress Payment’s agency banking is one of the tools adopted to bring more Nigerians into the financial inclusion space.
“In many parts of the world, including Nigeria, agency banking is gaining momentum as a key tool for driving financial inclusion”, he said
He explained that agency banking allows customers to access financial services through a third party (agent) on behalf of a licensed deposit-taking financial institution and/or mobile money operator.