Credit Markets in South Africa – The Consumer Experience

The number of active credit consumers in South Africa has grown strongly in recent years. According to the NCR, as at Q3 2016 there were over 24 million credit active consumers, representing almost two thirds of the total adult population (18+) in South Africa. This is up from 17.5 million credit active consumers in Q3 2008. Considering the size of this market, and its potential impact on consumers lives, it is vital to consider the consumer experience of credit markets. This is the topic Claire Hayworth, Consultant at Eighty20, explored at the latest Corporate Rebels Credit Safari held on 15 – 16 February 2017 in Johannesburg.

The presentation explores the five big problems facing credit markets in South Africa; these include:

  • Big problem 1: The poor credit standing of credit active consumers
  • Big problem 2: The lack of developmental credit being disbursed in the market
  • Big problem 3: The credit journeys for many consumers end in debt distress and financial ruin
  • Big problem 4: Lenders can behave badly (they often do)
  • Big problem 5: The rise in short-term lending to the poor – it is a hand up or down?

These problems appear overwhelming. So what should be done?

As a first step, it is critical to monitor the customer experience closely with data – both big and small. The critical thing about data is that it allows all stakeholders to become more customer centric. Better data gathering and analysis allows lenders, regulators and other interested parties to proactively monitor conduct and to develop a shared understanding of the customer experience and impact of credit access with all its nuances

The full presentation can be viewed or downloaded below.


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