South Africa: ZunguZ and GetBucks have teamed up to offer micro loans of up to R500 on Facebook
By Craig Wilson, Tech Central
Cape Town-based social media payment service ZunguZ has formed a partnership with local online micro-loans company GetBucks to offer Facebook users loans of up to R500 via the popular social network.
The companies claim their service is the world’s first social media credit facility. While GetBucks does the necessary vetting and administration of the loans, the actual loan is made available to the user by means of the ZunguZ Wallet service.
Consumers can withdraw the loan as cash or use it to purchase items such as cellular airtime or iTunes vouchers using the ZunguZ marketplace. It is also possible to transfer the money to another SA-based Facebook user.
ZunguZ co-CEO Rob Sussman says the partnership has seen both companies’ services gaining a foothold in “social commerce” and “being introduced to new markets”.
“With this success, we are now working jointly on the balance of Africa, after which we will introduce these services to other emerging markets,” Sussman says.
GetBucks technology head Sam Brink says his company handles all of the regulatory requirements and administration of the micro loans and, although the maximum of R500 might be revised upward soon, there are no plans for now to match GetBucks’ own limit of R4 000 when requesting loans via its service directly.
GetBucks is a registered MicroFinance SA member and is regulated by the national credit regulator. “Every loan request that comes through goes through the required checks on the back end of the existing GetBucks system,” Brink explains.
He says it takes less than 60 minutes to approve a request and that, once approved, the money becomes available immediately.
The loan term is 30 days, and Brink says the reason larger loans like the kind offered on GetBucks’s website aren’t available via Facebook is that these require further supporting documentation, including a copy of the user’s ID book, payslips and bank statements.
Vetting for the loans via Facebook only requires a user’s ID number and banking details. Loans are collected via debit order on the customer’s bank account or a payment can be made to Getbucks’ ZunguZ wallet.
GetBucks makes use of an online contract for the loan agreement. A user receives a one-time PIN via SMS, which is used to confirm the loan agreement using the Facebook interface.
GetBucks launched in June 2011 while ZunguZ went live in March this year.