Vodacom launches R3,000-R350,000 business loans for SMMEs

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Mobile operator Vodacom has launched the VodaLend | Business Cash Advance, which will offer short-term loans of between R3,000 and R350,000 to South Africa’s small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

In a statement on Monday (14 June), Vodacom said the new lending product will provide the cash advances to customers using VodaPay point of sale (POS) devices.

Cash flow challenges

“It often happens that a small business has intra-month cash flow challenges,” Vodacom’s chief officer for Financial and Digital Services Mariam Cassim explained.

“While the business is liquid over the long-term, occasionally it finds itself unable to meet short-term cash requirements. This is where our Business Cash Advance product comes into play.”

SMMEs that trade using VodaPay’s POS devices, including VodaPay Max, E-Commerce Switch and VodaPay Chop-Chop QR code, will be able to access the business funding.

Funding will be offered to an SMME based on its monthly turnover and, upon successful application, will be paid to the company within 24 hours.

Cassim added, “Repayments are specifically designed to assist partner SMMEs by being linked to the amount of money the company earns every day. When the company is not trading, no repayments are required.”

Qualification criteria

To qualify, SMMEs using VodaPay’s POS devices need to meet the following requirements:

  • They need to have been trading for four months or more.
  • Have a monthly turnover of at least R3,000 (collected through the merchant’s wallet, regardless of the acceptance mechanism).
  • Do 10 payment transactions per month on the defined payment rails.

Qualifying businesses do not need to supply company registration or VAT numbers, Vodacom said. This means that smaller, unregistered businesses can also qualify for the loans.

How to apply

The mobile operator advised businesses to apply via Vodacom’s SMME portal, where they are required to log in with their merchant ID. First time users need to register with their merchant ID.

Once logged in, merchants can view the financing options on offer. Once the cash advance is approved, they can take it up whenever it is needed.

If a business does not qualify, the SMME portal will direct the merchant to a dashboard with information on what they need to do to qualify.

“This is another small step by Vodacom Financial Services to further build and stabilise the SMME sector – a key component to long-term growth of our economy. This sector is also vital to job creation in an environment where unemployment is unacceptably high,” Cassim concluded.

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