Wonga SA, South Africa’s leading provider of payday loans online, has responded to the recent “wake-up call” dished out the payday industry in a wholly positive fashion, starting earlier this year in April with the appointment of new CEO, Brett Van Aswegen.
International Managing Director of the Wonga group, Mark Ruddock was pleased to announce the appointment saying, “After an extensive search, we’re pleased to secure someone of Van Aswegen’s strong calibre to lead our South African arm of the business. With more than 20 years’ experience in the African retail credit and financial services industries, Mr Van Aswegen is the perfect choice for the role. He is a capable leader with an impressive track record in financial services.”
Speaking of his appointment, Mr Van Aswegen said, “I’m excited to step into this role and look forward to focusing my time on building high-energy teams and combining technology with financial services to deliver a superior experience for our customers.”
Wonga SA – the customer is the main focal point of everything we do
Wonga SA has set its sights on putting the customer as the main focal point of everything they do with renewed vigour. Having just completed their 2nd annual customer survey, the results show the clear need for educating the average South African consumer about payday loans and the credit industry in general. With the present lack of consumer understanding and disregard of the importance of things like interest rates and set-up fees, Wonga SA are determined to champion responsible lending even though it will mean turning some applications down.
Wake-up and smell the coffee
Mr Van Aswegen has already acted on the wake-up call given to the industry, and he has smelled the coffee; In a world where debt is an accepted fact of life, it’s important to make careful choices about the nature of the debt. He commented, “It is imperative that consumers are educated about the various issues related to credit and how to get financially fit to avoid getting into debt. It is also important to distinguish good debt from bad debt and unfortunately most consumers don’t see it this way.”
The need to promote a savings culture in South Africa
In a country where there is no real personal savings culture, when financial emergencies arise people are put between a rock and a hard place. As Mr Van Aswegen put it, “Any unexpected or emergency expense can present financial trouble if there aren’t any savings or appropriate insurance cover in place.”
It’s a sentiment that NCR (National Credit Regulators) supports 100%. The NCR are the regulatory body empowered by the National Credit Act, an act that was introduced and that Brett Van Aswegen had a handle on when he was chairman at the Credit Providers Association.
Payday loans – a necessary product that must be sold responsibly
Make no mistake, payday loans are an excellent product when it comes to helping to people without savings when they encounter a financial problem, and Wonga SA are intent on offering this product in the most responsible manner.
It’s something that presents quite a challenge given the average South African consumer’s tendency to ignore certain criteria; but it’s a challenge that Mr Van Aswegen and his team at Wonga SA are more than willing to take on, especially in light of the recent wake-up call.