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Nigerian gift-card startup SureGifts is introducing a new service that allows employees in Nigeria to obtain voucher loans to pay for certain online services.
Even though many Nigerians on social media described last year’s Black Friday sales by ecommerce giants in Nigeria, Jumia and Konga, as fraudulent, quite a number of online shoppers were able to get some good deals online and at offline stores. But for a good number of Nigerians, whether the deals were true or false, they wouldn’t even think of buying any new stuffs because they don’t have money for such.
This could be a very bad thing especially when the issue at hand isn’t just about getting luxury products or travels; as many people could also be in dire need of a way of paying their utility bills including electricity to prevent getting disconnected. This is why the latest product released by Nigeria’s gift-card company SureGifts is much need.
According to the startup, their latest venture called SureCredit is a new online platform that allows employees in Nigeria to obtain voucher loans to pay for all they need at about 50 online and offline merchants including Jumia, Spa and the major electricity supplier in Lagos.
SureCredit works as an asset financing platform for employees of selected companies. Employees can get a voucher to purchase an asset or service from several merchants in Nigeria and pay later over time from their salaries.
“With the voucher, employees can purchase a wide range of products, go on vacation, pay utility bills and access numerous services among others with a payment plan spread over a couple of months without incurring high interest rates as they would when they approach banks and other credit service providers,” SureGifts said in a statement.
Speaking on the venture, Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, co-Founder of SureGifts, said what they had in mind while developing SureCredit is a way of offering employees access to an easy payment plan:
We wanted to create a convenient payment plan for trusted workers who want to acquire expensive assets or services, and that’s what we’ve done with SureCredit. It’s simply a platform that lets you spread payments for virtually anything over time.
Better than loans
Speaking to Ventureburn, the co-founders said the service is much better than obtaining loans from banks or other lenders because of its three unique features: there’s no collateral, the application approval is very quick, and it has a low-interest rate.
To apply for voucher loan on the platform is very easy, all that an applicant needs to do is to go to the website, and check if his or her company has been approved. If the employer is on the list of approved participating companies, the applicants will then fill a short request form and the application would be reviewed and approval would be granted within 24 hours. For applicants whose companies are not on the list, they could request for their companies to be approved.
Adeoye Ojo, co-Founder of SureGifts noted that while there are already channels through which individuals can request for request services, SureCredit is broadening the scope.
“There are existing innovations around credit for services such as phone airtime, and some brands offer payment plans on some electronics and home appliances. SureCredit is similar; only broader, cheaper and easier to access,” he said.
The platform’s transparency allows users to know how much they will be paying every month and how much the total amount would be due. They do this with the provision of a calculator that shows how much an applicant can pay back based on duration and amount.
The service also does not require any collateral. It only requires that applicants meet two conditions — be employed and be earning salary from any of the approved companies.
“SureCredit will allow employees to acquire the high-value goods they need immediately without putting too much strain on their salaries,” said Babafemi Lawal, Co-Founder of SureGifts.