The Sunday News
IN a development set to benefit civil service employees and other individuals, a local financial company has developed a platform for Zimbabweans to access instant loans by applying via WhatsApp.
The move dovetails with Government’s push for the country’s population to participate in the formal economy through new innovations in the financial technology sector.
Microfinance company WildFin Financial Services has revealed that it has created an instant loan facility that can be accessed by applying for personal loans using the WhatsApp platform.
The firm’s chief executive, Mr David Mantiziba, said the new development will ease the burden for civil servants in accessing personal loans. The loans can be accessed from anywhere in the country.
“Many civil servants have duties that prevent them from going to offices to get loans. Moreover, loans have always been associated with humongous paperwork. Through this modern facility, users can simply access these loans by messaging WildFin’s WhatsApp number and follow all the steps to submit their application.”
Also, Mr Mantiziba said, the WhatsApp platform will enhance financial inclusion.
“The majority of people in our country are now finding it more comfortable to use WhatsApp to do business and get any financial service.
“Whether you require a small loan for a short-term emergency or a larger sum for a longer duration, this WhatsApp chat platform can cater for a wide range of borrowing needs to fit your financial situation,” he said.
He added that through use of the WhatsApp platform, more loans can also be extended to small-scale businesses and previously marginalised groups.
“Apart from heeding Government’s call for financial inclusion, we have gotten a lot of business from SMEs (small and medium enterprises), tuckshop owners and other small businesses that most microfinance institutions avoid.
“When dealing with SMEs and sole traders, we are aware of the risk we are exposed to and as such, we meticulously screen every application we receive,” he noted.
Mr Mantiziba revealed that he was looking forward to speedy implementation of the collateral registry system by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to ensure the new initiative can be put to use in the immediate term.
The collateral registry system, which allows the securitisation of movable property, was launched in December last year and has been in the making since 2017 as part of the central bank’s financial inclusion agenda.
According to the latest Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (Zamfi) report, credit-only microfinance institutions served 135 620 active clients as of December 31, 2022, a decrease compared to 161 375 in the prior comparative year.
Zamfi said the decrease in outreach was an indication that marginal efforts are being made to improve financial inclusion, as far as credit is concerned.