Partnership to increase customer access to service

Vodafone’s corporate manager Shailendra Prasad (left) and Rukshana Ali of Central Finance Ltd shake hands after signing an agreement in Suva yesterday. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

A PARTNERSHIP between Vodafone and Central Finance Ltd is expected to benefit more than 3000 customers of the latter with easy access to loan services.

The company, which started operations in 2010, signed the partnership deal with Vodafone’s M-PAiSA which will be used to provide small loans to its customers in remote areas around the country.

The company’s financial controller, Rukshana Ali, said thefirm was formed by their managing director who had come through the idea through his experience in the banking industry. Ms Ali said with banking experience and financial knowledge after working as a financial accountant for CJ Patel Group and CDP Courier, the idea of a finance company was evolved.

“We offer small unsecured loans, secured loans, bridging finance on home loans, sale of phones, laptops and other equipment on hire purchase, refinancing car repairs, bodyworks, tyre and battery purchase.

“We have tailor-made solutions for our customers who are mainly civil servants and also from the private sector that are located around Fiji,” she said.

Ms Ali said they would use M-PAiSA service to give out loans to civil servants/ bank officers/ private sectors and employees in corporate organisations who are mostly based in remote areas and do not have access to banks.

“With the current technological era, customers prefer the most convenient form of disbursements which is just a click away. When teaming up with Vodafone’s M-PAiSA services we will be able to reach our customers conveniently via electronic means,” she said.

Vodafone Fiji head of e-commerce and corporate affairs Shailendra Prasad said mobile payment platforms such as M-PAiSA was increasingly becoming a secure, convenient and efficient channel for providing financial service products around the world.

He said branchless banking, online accounts and payments were becoming business norms and for small and microloans and micro-insurance type products, the mobile payments channel was by far the most cost-effective and efficient channel to provide such services.

Mr Prasad said through this channel, once a loan application was approved by Central Finance through their loan vetting criteria, loan funds would be sent to the applicants mobile anywhere in Fiji.

The receiver is then able to cash out funds at an M-PAiSA agent or be able to make a number of merchant and bill payments already available through M-PAiSA and repayments can also be made from anywhere at no additional cost to the customer.

Meanwhile, Ms Ali said they were in the process of launching their website which would make it easier for their customers to get relevant information on the company and its products and services.

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