The Zimbabwean financial services landscape is experiencing some turbulence which as further exacerbated the need for client protection when it comes to microfinance.
The current inflationary pressures being experienced in the economy coupled with an increase in the number of players in the microfinance industry leaves borrowers in a rather vulnerable position.
According to the Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Statement for 2019, there are 205 microfinance institutions in operation.
With so many microfinance institutions and the rapid digitalisation of business processes, as well as a surge in the number of bogus loan sharks, it is easy in such a dynamic environment to be taken advantage of and caught up in a debt trap.
It is in these uncertain times that client protection becomes imperative to ensure a high level of ethics and integrity in the microfinance industry.
Armed with the Microfinance Act, regulators and service providers, like Zimnat microfinance have made a decent endeavour to place client protection at the forefront of the service delivery standards expected of registered microfinance institutions.
Microfinance institutions epitomize responsible financial inclusion, as such integrity and transparency are significant factors that any borrower should expect in all transactions with a lending institution.
Responsible microfinance institutions draw guidance on customer protection from the Microfinance Act as well as the 7 principles of client protection, which include but not limited to the prevention of over-indebtedness.
Responsible microfinanciers take all the necessary measures to ensure that a borrower still has the capacity to repay a loan without becoming over-indebted.
With the current fluid economic conditions, the propensity amongst individuals to borrow increases, as people try to subsidise their strained incomes. Many end up overburdened with debt. This is a very uncomfortable position to be in.
Although potential borrowers consciously apply for a loan in the full knowledge of their existing obligations, it is incumbent upon the lender to protect the client by ensuring that the borrower is not already suffering from too much debt.
With the help of the Reserve Bank, a Central Credit Registry has been established where all credit obligations to financial institutions are recorded.
This is one of a raft of measures put in place to ensure that financial institutions and would-be borrowers alike are not exploited.
It allows any credit institution to cross-reference information about a borrower to verify his or her credit status and help assess the client’s borrowing capacity.
Zimnat as an organisation driven to make life better, has made deliberate efforts to guarantee client protection by embedding principles of smart lending and client protection in its service delivery channels, systems and processes.
Through the use of data analytics and customer success management Zimnat microfinance has been able to complement existing measures to help customers get the funding they need without falling into the debt trap.
Furthermore, keeping in line with the Microfinance Act as well as the client protection principles Zimnat Microfinance displays all the terms and conditions for its products at its premises to ensure borrowers have all the material facts for them to make a decision that does not lead to over-indebtedness.
In addition, strict data protection measures have also been put in place to ensure that customer information is being used only for the purposes for which it was requested.
With Zimnat, you can rest assured that you will be served by professionally trained staff offering high quality and affordable products and services to meet your financial needs.
With branches and resident agents scattered across the whole of Zimbabwe, Zimnat microfinance strives to ensure efficient and excellent customer service to meet your needs and make your life better.
Zimnat Microfinance has been in existence since 2012. It boasts of a solid financial background being, as it is, part of the Zimnat family.
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