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Instant loans for SMEs



MASERU – IN yet another groundbreaking development, Standard Lesotho Bank has introduced instant loans for Small and Medium Enterprises. In its statement released yesterday, the bank said the facility, which is part of the bank’s digital lending offering, is a value-added service that allows business customers, especially small and medium enterprises, to access quick and hassle-free instant loans with very minimal paperwork. The new offering is an addition to digital lending that was introduced last year for personal clients. In order to qualify, clients will need to demonstrate that they have a clean account. Customers also have to maintain a clean credit record with an up-to-date tax clearance and valid trader’s licence. Qualifying businesses will receive SMS messages from the bank, then call Enterprise Direct Toll free line to access the funds instantly. The instant loans offer is a response to the longstanding challenge of access to finance and the time it takes for manual loan applications to be approved, especially for Small and Medium Enterprises. With digital loans being processed within a day, the bank said the new solution also demonstrates and reaffirms its commitment to providing cutting edge solutions for Basotho businesses. The solution also responds to the challenge of many business owners, who are predominantly sole proprietors. They will no longer be required to provide collateral and financial statements to access the loans. The Head of Personal and Business Banking at Standard Lesotho Bank, Selloane Tsike, said this innovative solution is proof that the bank is intentional about breaking the barriers to finance for the business sector. “As a leading bank, we are proud that we now have a quick and easy solution that provides SMMEs the much-needed loans that will surely help them to serve their clients better, grow and be more profitable. This not only helps their individual businesses, but the economy of Lesotho as a whole.” Tsike also impressed upon customers to maintain good account conduct by honouring their loan obligations and other financial commitments at all times so that they can benefit from these fast and convenient loans. The solution has no human intervention but is highly automated. The system only takes into consideration account history and conduct and should an entrepreneur have a negative account status with regards to their obligations, they will not qualify, she said. Digital loans offered by Standard Lesotho Bank are the first of their kind in Lesotho. They are a testament to the bank’s strategy towards digitization and customer centricity, delivering fit for purpose solutions that meet and exceed clients’ expectations. Staff Reporter

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