Barclays Counts On Online Partner To Help Cut Lending Costs In South Africa

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

Barclays Africa is counting on an online lending partnership with RainFin, a platform that facilitate unsecured lending, to help it cut the cost incurred in processing loans for its customers in South Africa.

According to a BDLive report, Barclays Africa, which bought a 49 percent stake in the online peer-to-peer lending company in early 2014, see an opportunity to advance loan in a cheaper and faster way through the portal other than using its brick and mortar Absa branches.

“We want to be able to take financial services to a different level from where we have been,” Paul Nel, head of open innovation at Barclays Africa Group, told BDlive. “It’s really is about bringing something innovative to the market.”

RainFin, the largest peer-to-peer lender in South Africa according to Bloomberg, allows people or businesses looking for better return on their cash to lend the money online to other parties including small businesses.

Sean Emery, the co-founder and CEO of RainFin, said the company had built a platform that allowed for small to medium enterprises to obtain working capital loans that could be approved within 48 hours if all documents were submitted.

Barclays Africa has set aside about $10 million since it partnered with RainFin two years ago for lending through the online platform.

Nel said Absa had about 350,000 business banking clients in SA who would be able to apply for loans quickly and cheaply through the RainFin platform.

“It’s clearly cheaper and quicker than the manual process,” Mr Emery said.