• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Sterling Bank increases on-line micro credit by over 200%

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Following the success of the Social Lender Scheme introduced last year and the impressive response from the beneficiaries, Sterling Bank plc has increased the minimum amount for online “quick cash” from N3,000 to N10,000. The bank also targets 6000 beneficiaries for the current year.

Last year, the bank disbursed over N5 million to over 2000 on-line customers within six months of its introduction. Over 90 percent of the amount advanced has been paid back by the beneficiaries.

Social Lender, the first in Nigeria, is a modified peer-to-peer lending solution using the social media platforms through which micro-credit is offered to members of these communities. The scheme provides a platform for online followers who are customers of Sterling Bank to obtain these monies via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

The bank’s group head, strategy and communications, Shina Atilola, who disclosed this at the weekend, said the scheme was repackaged because of its success story for the bank, the quality of feedback from members of the on-line community and the impressive pay back rate of the beneficiaries.

The bank has taken the decision to increase the minimum amount for lending because “our target market has been faithful to the terms of the agreements reached during the launch phase, they have been faithful with repayment and this has inspired confidence,” he said.

The scheme, according to Atilola, has integrated with existing financial structures of the bank such that users of the online platform now access quick cash by normal methods of withdrawing cash. These funds, according to him, are easy to access and delivered via convenient platforms.

Atilola explained how it works: “Our friends on Facebook or Twitter can apply for quick cash by visiting the Social Lender site. Users who request for the loans on the Social Lender platform are rated by the algorithm that calculates their social reputation using various criteria; based on this, the request is either granted or rejected.”

With the introduction of the scheme, the bank’s chief strategist said that the bank was making it easier for potential and existing customers to bridge short-term financing needs. The bank’s chief strategist said that customers also had the option of quick cash via this platform by sending requests to a short code; 30812 on any network.

This new line of service also assures that Sterling Bank will sustain its position as an organisation that understands the needs of its customers and leverages relevant platforms to proffer innovative solutions, which in return enriches the lives of its customers, Atilola said.

He explained that the importance of Social Media in today’s society was one that cannot be overlooked as it plays an increasingly central role in the lives of people on a daily basis. “Today, we see the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter and how these channels influence change and decision making among individuals and nations.”

Social Lender will also afford subscribers the opportunity to access cash even without a Sterling Bank account. This can be done by simply downloading the Sterling Money application on to a mobile phone or tablet. Further innovative features have been integrated into the application to make these funds easily accessible.