ONLINE money transfer organisation SympliFi has launched a radical new loan service facility aimed at enabling diasporans to send money back home to Nigeria in a commercial manner that not only saves them parting with cash but also empowers the recipients.
Launched in London yesterday, the new app allows diasporans to send money to family and friends in Nigeria but rather than being dine the conventional way, it involves Nigerian banks actually providing a loan. Under the scheme, if a diasporan sends £100 to Nigeria using SympliFi, a Nigeria bank will loan the money to the recipient, with the original sum being kept in the SympliFi bank.
Maurice Iwunze, the SympliFi co-founder, said: “What we have here is a unique product that saves diasporans having to send money repeatedly as it is structured as a commercial product. It also empowers the recipient as the money they are sent sits in the SympliFi wallet but a Nigerian commercial bank loans them the money and once they repay it, they can apply for fresh loans.
“Once the money is sent, it stays in the SympliFi wallet where it is held as collateral and once the recipient does not default, the original sender gets their money back with a 2% interest at the expiration of the loan term. Our unique app saves diasporans the trouble of having to send money repeatedly and with Nigerian banks only charging interest of between 2% and 3%, offers those receiving the money loans at unbelievable rates.”
He added that he and his colleagues created SympliFi because they saw that for far too long, the process of supporting loved ones back home by sending money was broken. According to Mr Iwunze, it was a costly financial burden, there is no transparency on how the money is being used and it does not benefit the sender or the receiver over long term.
Mr Iwunze said: “Most of all it doesn’t make sense as the only solution in today’s modern society, so we took the idea of sending money abroad and re-imagined it with an entirely new way of thinking. What if we could stop sending money and instead send possibilities? – the possibility to do more, that’s what SympliFi does.
“We empower people abroad to provide their loved ones back home easy access to financial services from the comfort of their phone. By providing access, their loved ones can do more, they can launch and grow a business, build valuable credit history and change their own lives and the lives of those around them.”
SympliFi can be accessed via the company’s website at www.symplifi.co and according to Mr Iwunze, loan periods vary from three months to 12 months, as do the amounts that can be lent. He added that for first time users, however, there is an initial cap of N250,000($610), which can be extended as recipients improve their credit rating.