The average Nigerian is now moving away from begging the huge, overfed cats that the country’s banks are for quick personal and business loans. An online lending app is giving out loans to the average person and without collateral too. It uses social capital instead and lets the user build up their credit rating from the scratch.
But First, About Nigerian Banks
In Nigeria, getting a personal loan or a quick loan from any of the banks is almost mission impossible. There is a lot of rhetoric about supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs from the banks, but it is mostly hot air. To borrow the words of Jesus, it is easier for camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for the average Nigerian to secure a bank loan.
Nigerian banks are more likely to approve a N200 million loan application from a corrupt senator or minister within 3 days without due process (and eventually write off the loan as bad debt) than approve a N250,000 loan application from a small business that has banked with them for 10 years and has a steady cash flow through its account with them.
The banks are con artistes too. One green bank wooed entrepreneurs with the promise that they could apply for loans after running the account for 6 months. But after the 6 months elapsed, the bank came up with excuses. No loans were ever disbursed. 419 people.
How The Online Lending App Works
The PayLater app allows anyone resident in Nigeria and who has a monthly income to sign up and take an initial loan of N10,000. That sounds small; right? But that is part of the beauty. That saying about one being faithful with little applies. You earn points each time you make a timely repayment and lose points if you default. As you accumulate more points, you can borrow more money at lower interest rates.
The concept is so simple. I have offered banks this same idea as far back as four years ago. Give small loans and let people build up their creditworthiness as they go. Those people already bank with them. How difficult could it be? Of course, trust our banks. Their satisfied fat asses ignored it and went their way merrily.
But that is exactly what PayLater is doing now. No need to go to the bank. Apply from an app on your smartphone. No collateral. Just build your creditworthiness with each repayment and you can enjoy loans of up to N100,000. A variant scheme by PayLater which requires supporting documents allows salary earners to get loans of up to N500,000.
The user requires a debit card to be setup in order to take a loan. Loan applications are approved or denied within minutes, but funds get into the borrower’s account in 30 minutes to 3 business days, depending on the specific situation. Repayment is done on the app too. A user can repay early by a manual process. If not, the app automatically debits the user’s card for the sum of the amount and interest on the due date.
The Nigerian tech landscape is full of hype and false claims and figures. PayLater is a service that has experienced huge growth since its launch in the first quarter of 2016. As at the time of writing this article, the PayLater online lending app has recorded 100,000 – 500,000 installs in the Google Play. Impressive.
PayLater solves a real problem and meets a real need. It is easy to see why user adoption and uptake has been that strong. When the country begins to see more apps that meet essential needs on ground, Nigeria will experience greater app usage. For now, this online lending app blazes the trail brightly and opens new doors of empowerment for millions of people in the country.