In a world where the unexpected has become the expected, we have to prepare for the unexpected. We often look and plan to grow our savings and emergency funds to cover these unforeseen expenses. But what happens if we are not there yet, or too much happens at once?
This is when we turn to loans to fill the gap. And with many new products coming on the market, we have more options than ever at our disposal. And while we don’t say that getting a loan is a good idea, it is sometimes necessary to make ends meet.
So what types of loans are there? And where do you get these online loans?
Traditional Bank Loans & Overdrafts
These are some of the oldest types of loans and have in recent years been made available online. Overdrafts and Bank Loans are available to many earning South Africans. There are minimum income requirements that vary from bank to bank and are in line with the Credit Regulators.
These loans are usually over the longer term and for loans like overdrafts, they are recurring.
- They are easy to get and setup if you meet the income requirements and they are offered by your bank.
- They are backed by a large institution.
- They are often very expensive.
Online Lenders such as Wonga have made lending easier in the online space. They have made the approval process simple and fast with some claims stating that you can get your money the same day. These types of loans are usually short and non-recurring making them widely used in the case of emergencies.
- Fast to get a loan
- Simple to access online
- Less income requirements
- Lots of fees
A New Product that could change the way we borrow
At Once A Week, we love telling you about new products and services on the market. And that is no different when it comes to online loans. And while these loans are not available to the public as with the previous two options, they are facilitated through your employer.
Smartadvance has created the Wage Streaming services that allows employees with employers who have this service, the ability access part of their salary during the month before payday. And with the massive cost savings that Wage Streaming brings, it can be highly beneficial to the employees.
In smartadvance’s example, for a R500 Loan your standard repayment at Credit Providers would be R760. In comparison, your Wage Streaming Service would be R540. That’s a huge cost saving!
We spoke to Mark Young, CEO of Smart Advance about the product:
OAW: What gave you the idea to start the Salary Streaming Service?
We currently service a broad segment of customers through our payroll partnerships where we have provided long term loans (24 to 30 months) for education and home improvements.
As part of our financial wellbeing initiatives with the employers we noticed that more than 1/3rd of employees made use of expensive pay-day loans each month, and in some cases were taking multiple loans each month.
Pay-day loans are by their nature extremely expensive and can enforce a “debt-trap” where consumers need to keep refinancing these loans just to make it from month-to-month.
Given our strong focus on wellbeing and our intention to create products that look to improve a consumer’s monthly cash-flow we looked to create a product that provided easy, low-cost access to funds through the course of the month and the concept of salary streaming proved the simplest way to deliver that.
OAW: How long does the process from Start to Pay-out take?
Application to pay-out is very fast. We have multiple application methods to cater for the diverse markets, and once the application is processed, the customer’s funds will be paid to them within 90mins to 2 hours.
OAW: How would a Company sign up for this?
Currently our wage streaming service is available to our payroll partner employees through our employee wellness programme.
Companies looking for this service for their employees can contact smartdvance at email@example.com to start. Once agreements are signed employees can apply for streaming via our regional reps through-out the country, or on the smartadvance app. For those without access to a smartphone, we will be launching a USSD service in late Q1 2021.
OAW: You say employees who stream more likely to start saving. Why is this so?
Most customers access short term credit or a payday loan for an emergency which usually incurs the cost of interest and fees.
With wage streaming, they pay a flat fee of R40 per transaction, a saving of close to 80% on the costs of an onerous pay-day loan. This freed up cash-flow can be directed towards savings or to reduce other, more expensive debt.
With tough times around every corner, it is great to see new products that are becoming available. And as Mark pointed out, this can be a great option for employers to help their employees.
Make sure you take carful consideration before taking out any online loans and speak to a professional advisor where necessary.