A consumer identity and credit profile Conference by Westcape
People need things they can’t pay for all at once and credit makes it possible to obtain them. However, this is impossible in most low and middle-income countries where less than 10 per cent of adults are on file in public credit registries. The fact is that many items, from cars to houses and household appliances such as fridges, microwaves, to day-to-day gadgets such as smartphones and laptops are [too] expensive for most people to pay for all at once. Thanks to credit, we can purchase what we need and pay over time.
Sadly, the lack of identification and comprehensive credit reporting systems that will enable people to access credit services makes it impossible for millions of adults in Africa to elevate their lifestyle. For those who can’t survive without credit – nearly everyone needs some form of credit – the resulting consequence is that they are subject to paying punitive interest rates, as high as 36 per cent per year or are cut off financial services. Besides, how do we make credit widely accessible (or more inclusive) in Africa when credit reporting is reduced to a “numbers game” in financial institutions who are more concerned about not being exposed to competition and less about serving customers?
“Nearly everyone needs some form of credit.
When consumers and businesses have access to credit, economic transactions can take place efficiently and frequently, and the economy grows. Having access to credit empowers people to build wealth.
Imagine a 35-year old woman with three children intending to start a micro cool store business, and yet lack the resources to buy a deep freezer? The deep freezer seller would have lost on a sale opportunity; the woman would have missed a chance to create for herself an income stream, and those who depend on her, most especially her children, will suffer the consequences, not forgetting that government would have lost on generating revenue through tax payments from this woman.
Also, sufficient identification and comprehensive credit reporting systems allow for the protection of the financial services industry from consumers who exhibit irresponsible and dubious conduct by borrowing from multiple lenders at the same time.
Africa is in dire need of economic growth more than any region in the world. We need to do something about credit profile and consumer identity.
At the we </> elevate 2019 conference, we will explore ways in which the applications of consumer identity and credit profile in the economy can help broaden access to credit services to whom it’s due, which in turn, we believe, will elevate people’s lifestyle.
I encourage you to join us on 23rd May 2019 at the China Europe International Business School in Accra as we discuss the future of credit. Visit https://bywestcape.com/we for more info.
Isidore Kpotufe is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Westcape. Westcape builds online marketplaces and technology solutions that enable people to buy things – from home appliances and gadgets to dresses and homes – and pay later, between 1-12 months