While in days gone by the title ‘micro lenders’ carried negative connotations that suggested crooks and exorbitant interest rates, Bayport Financial Services have ushered in a new era of professionalism, responsibility and reliability in the micro lending industry.
In a bid to further improve customer services, Bayport Botswana took pride in announcing that they are the first credit provider in Africa and the first payroll lender in the world to receive Client Protection Certification Smart campaign. The Smart Campaign is an international initiative that aims to unite micro-finance institutions (MFIs) around a common goal; regarding customers as the driving force of the industry.
The Client Protection Certification program provides a shared global standard for client protection and is a way of validating those institutions that are doing the right thing.
In a press briefing last week, Executive Chairperson of Bayport, Father Maphongo gave a brief history of the organization, stating that they started operating as Money Quest Investment in 2005 and later changed to Bayport Financial services only five years ago in 2010. Maphongo further stated that though they are relatively new, they have managed to partner with employers such as government and local authorities to help employees achieve greater financial awareness as a result of the responsible access to credit which they at Bayport offer.
Alongside the services they offer, Bayport is also a source of employment, seeing as the company employs a total of 74 full time employees and over 100 sales agents in their 14 branches countrywide. Maphongo also indicated that Bayport has a positive impact on ordinary Batswana in most urban, semi urban and rural areas of the country.
“We take services to the people,” he said.
He added that Bayport’s core mandate is to close the gap that exists between Batswana and professional banking services. The gaps that Bayport has identified are financial inclusiveness through provision of credit while borrowing within the customers’ means and for the right reasons. The micro lender’s vision is to essentially provide responsible financial lending, because failure to do so ultimately makes the customer suffer.
Maphongo further alluded to the fact that over the years micro lending facilities have garnered negativity, which Bayport is trying to dispel through its high levels of professionalism.
Furthermore, as a certified Client Protection Certification Smart Financier, Bayport’s primary mandate is to protect the client. Maphongo also stated that when providing financial services they protect their clients from being over indebted and they intend to be part of the solution that will rescue Batswana from their prevailing financial woes. As an added advantage to their clients, Bayport Financial Services takes pride in the fact that they use respectful means in their debt collection mechanisms.
“We will not send you bouncers. We aim to protect the client, since as a whole protecting clients is the smart thing to do,” said Maphongo with a slight chuckle.
He also declared that Bayport will be transparent with its rates and will responsibly charge fair and non exorbitant rates with clearly stated terms and conditions.