This month saw credit amnesty come into effect, which will essentially ensure that certain negative financial information is removed from consumer’s credit records at credit bureaus. The aim of the amnesty is to reintroduce those consumers who have previously been unable to apply for credit due to negative listings, back into the market. While this is welcome news for those consumers as it provides them with the opportunity to once again access credit, it could come at a much higher cost. This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “Previously banks would base much of their credit rating models on a client’s payment history, which will be far less detailed without the information provided by credit bureaus. Without access to this potential adverse information on a consumer’s payment profile, it will be far harder for financial institutions to determine their risk or the applicants’ ability to repay their credit. As such they will have to adjust their approach and methods of distinguishing between high and low risk lenders,” says Goslett. “This could result in the opposite effect that the credit amnesty was initially introduced to achieve in that if banks feel that they are acting within a higher risk environment, they will be far more cautious in reviewing applications, and will therefore be tightening up their lending criteria and could in fact grant less credit.” Bank representatives have gone on record saying that that the removal of the adverse credit records of consumers introduced unknown risk and agreed that in light of this, banks have to tighten their approach to risk. The assumption that the credit amnesty will make it easier to obtain credit is not entirely true as many credit providers will implement a far stricter credit vetting processes. Goslett notes that if the credit amnesty results in fewer loans being granted, coupled with the fact that consumers are already facing other external financial pressures such as the . . .
Farming and agricultural enterprises derive invaluable benefits from close monitoring of weather patterns and regular forecasts. Weather data is vital to effective planning and correct calculation of agricultural profits. BVG provides the latest real time weather data for South Africa. The reports cover rain, wind, hail, humidity and air pressure among other factors. Through ongoing research and development, plus a constant improving of systems, BVG ensures that farmers are supplied with the latest weather data. The effect of weather data gathering and dissemination filters through to impact on other services offered by BVG including commodity trading South Africa, hedging South Africa, as well as all the shares traded on the JSE. There have been notable advances in weather data collection and the general climate science. Weather stations can now constantly churn out weather updates through newsroom reports on a monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly basis. These reports can also be downloaded on the BVG site. Such developments enable us to tailor climate and weather information to the specific needs of the users. BVG also offers hedging funds management services through its BVG Hedge Funds management company. This fund specialises in trading equity and agricultural derivatives on the JSE and aims to achieve optimal returns by investing in listed derivatives. Investors are called upon to make use of our SAFFEX online trading tool. Through this tool we give you direct market access to the whole of the South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX) as well as information on other products and shares traded on the JSE. BVG Commodities (Pty) Ltd Pretoria, South Africa specializes in trading agricultural and financial futures. Our team of professionals will provide assistance with Hedge Fund Management, Energy derivatives and the most up-to-date weather service. We continually develop new programs and services to ensure that our clients derive maximum benefits from our . . .
The range of products and services that is offered via the mobile channel is continuously expanding as industry pioneers in this sector forge ahead with new innovations. Many of the experts who will address the sixth annual Mobile Money & Digital Payments Africa in Johannesburg from 21-22 May, agree that the ability to provide financial services to the previously unbanked remains a key priority. Financial inclusion a measurable objective According to Kim Dancey, Regulatory Head and Specialist Advisor: Digital and Alternative Banking at South Africa’s FNB: “there has been a very perceptible acceptance of financial inclusion as a measurable policy objective by regulators and acceptance as a business imperative by service providers.” She continues: “the challenge is to move mobile money from being a payment instrument to an offering that is used as a money management tool.” She is excited about the bank’s eWallet, “particularly in the African operations, which showed a 119% year-on-year increase in the last financial year.” The total number of eWallets on the continent reached 2.5 million, an 84% increase with Namibia and Botswana showing a very high customer acceptance and take-up. Microfinance + MMT = fantastic opportunity Also focusing on expanding the financial services in the mobile money sphere is the Musoni microfinance system that is integrated with leading East African MMT services. Last year, Musoni Kenya, the first 100% mobile microfinance organisation, reached the milestone of having processed 1-million M-PESA transactions through its system. Says Musoni Services CEO Cameron Goldie-Scott: “linking microfinance and mobile money provides a fantastic opportunity for both MFIs and mobile money providers. We now work with six MFIs across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and are looking to expand into new markets as well as continue adding new payment channels and MMT providers.” In spite of the potential says Goldie-Scott, many MFIs have been . . .
Legislation restrictions on the earnings of short-term insurance brokers permit them to earn revenue in three different ways. They receive statutory commission for selling and maintaining policies, for submitting claims and, most importantly, advising their clients what cover is available to them. They may be paid a binder fee by an insurance company to cover the costs that they have for performing functions like issuing policies and settling claims. If they perform functions for clients outside of what they are paid for by the insurer, they may, with permission, charge the client a fee. Why then are brokers feeling a cost push and increasingly finding it difficult to procure staff at the level needed to give a world class service to clients? Historical context Let us go back in history to the 1990’s when I was a broker. We, like most medium sized brokers, earned only commission. And we made a good living. However, change was on the horizon. Firstly, service levels from insurer’s dropped. The problem was not at a senior level but at the level where policies were issued and claims handled. It took numerous efforts to get a new policy document after changes has been made to the policy. What did we as brokers do? We simply started gearing up to issue policies ourselves that mirrored what we had requested, and this cost money. Then came a tough time and the advent of value added tax. Insurers proudly announced that they would not need to increase rates, but would absorb the additional costs. Their additional costs were after all just the difference between the tax paid on a premium and claimed back on expenses and claims. Brokers woke up on 1 October 1991 7% poorer. The response of brokers was to negotiate with insurers to officially take over issuing policies and in return, was able to charge clients a fixed fee. And so the group scheme, previously the domain of large corporate brokers only, became common place in the market. Competition rife The . . .
Sunette Ansara, the Divisional Head of Infiniti Legal Sense outlines the very real legislative risks small, medium and micro business owners of South Africa face as they grapple with the almost daily tasks of ensuring compliance to regulatory requirements, adherence to labour laws and consumer protectorate directives, in addition to trying to grow market share in a challenging economy. ‘Being the master of your own destiny is very appealing to a budding entrepreneur, but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted’, says Sunette. However she goes on to say that preparedness is half the battle won. Ever-changing regulatory legislation could see an entrepreneur crippled by a simple labour or client dispute. Businesses are exposed and this exposure seems to be increasing as our country and economy develops. SMME’s are required to comply with a myriad of legislation covering a vast number of areas, and professional legal assistance is necessary in order to become – and stay – compliant, but the cost of having access to legal representation and advice is so high that most SMME owners simply cannot afford to be compliant. ‘This leaves businesses wide open to risks when confronted with labour disputes with employees, contractual disagreements with suppliers, service providers or clients, potential liability claims, unrecoverable debt and ultimately… costly litigation. These risks have a negative impact on the overall morale and sustainability of SMME’s, which is the opposite of what we want to achieve in terms of economic growth and job creation in South Africa', says Sunette. ‘Having legal representation and professional legal advice during such trying times is essential to safeguard your rights and business. The value of commercial legal protection insurance for SMME’s is that business owners have access to legal advice, support and infrastructure to ensure compliance on all levels, without breaking the bank. It also frees business owners to focus on actual . . .
Trade Conferences International will be hosting the Banking Customer On-boarding and Cross Selling Conference on 14 & 15 May at the Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. If you value building trust, customer loyalty and forging long-term relationships with your customers, then this conference is for you. In an informative, interactive and conducive atmosphere, the conference will take you to the fascinating and challenging world of customer retention through on-boarding and cross-selling. The conference will give you practical life experience perspectives on the when and how to embark on an on-boarding and cross-selling exercise, with the ultimate aim of acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. To make sure that you are one step ahead of your competitors, take advantage of this final early-bird discount offer and register now to secure your seat. A quick glance at the speaker panel that will be addressing key issues at this conference: Ann Nurock, Relationship Audits & Management Larry O’Sullivan, Rand Merchant Bank Jainita Khatri, Prana Business Consulting Mornay Roberts-Lombard, University Of Johannesburg Andries Noeth, Consulta Research Chris Huntingford, Karabina Solutions Ros Siddle, Truth Ferdi Maritz, P: Cubed Francois Muscat, Wsioms Yaron Assabi, Digital Solutions Group To avoid losing market share to your competition you will have to improve product and service offerings and quality in order to meet customer expectations and maintain this throughout the customer lifecycle, this includes cross selling products to satisfy all their financial needs and requirements. In order to learn more about this lifecycle of the industry, join experts at this event and gain insight into the minds of the professionals. Register now and remain a step ahead in the sector. Email project manager, Naison Chilenge on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011 803 1553 for more details. Author: Sian Wirth from Trade Conferences . . .
There is an acute scarcity of the highly skilled professionals that are needed by the country to manage the very real cybercrime threats that face South Africa. A number of different professionals from different sectors must be trained to make up a core response team for national threats that affect the running of the government and key business sectors which are most vulnerable to cybercrime. INSETA’s analysis of the insurance industry’s scarce and critical skills needs identifies that ICT professionals are in high demand for their technical skills and the needs are being prioritized by the sector. Cybercrime has been classified, alongside international terrorism and natural disasters, as a top priority by the US, UK and other governments. South Africa has become one of the most targeted countries for cybercrime, especially phishing attacks. It is difficult for governments and the private sector to manage cyber threats due to the complexity of the threats. Highly skilled professionals are required if we are to succeed in this battle. Globally such skills are acutely scarce and countries are putting in place long terms strategies spanning in excess of 20 years to develop key skills in the area of cybercrime. There is no one qualification towards which cybercrime specialist can be trained in South Africa. There are, however, different training courses, which are not well articulated with each other and do not respond holistically to this key human resource development issue. The type of professionals that are required and the skills they require to adequately address cybercrime include: o Cyber security experts - These would be highly skilled technical experts who will be involved in protecting information through and effective cyber security programme. Similarly highly skilled experts would be needed to realistically test defences in a simulated environment to identify vulnerabilities. The Protection of Personal Information Act (Popi) stipulates that . . .
With claims management, being central and significantly important to the functioning of insurance companies, service providers and intermediaries, Trade Conferences International’s Insurance Claims Management Conference 2014, taking place on the 15 & 16 April, will probe the outlook for the future of all stakeholders affected by claims management processes. Addressing concerns arising in the foreseeable claims landscape, pertinent advancements in insurance claims management, and expected challenges and opportunities that insurance claims management professional can expect in 2014 and beyond, get equipped on the advancements in the claims management industry. Covering innovations and evolutions in the processes of claims management, technological developments, prosperous customer relations to ensure stability and success. The expert speaker panel that will be discussing the know how’s in the industry consist of representations from prestigious companies such as Mutual & Federal, Discovery Life Legal, Marsh Risk Consulting Africa, One Law, KPMG, AIG and ESNS Contact Centre Consulting, to name a few. To register now, with discountable group booking rates available, contact the project manager, Jason Joseph for details on 011 803 1553 or email Jason@tci-sa.co.za. For sponsorship and exhibition details, contact Linda Kruger who will assist in giving your organisation a boost in the competitive industry race. Author: Sian Wirth from Trade Conferences International. No of Images Uploaded: One More Info link: http://www.tci-sa.co.za/events/insurance-claims-management-conference-2014/ Twitter: www.twitter.co/tcisa Facebook: Images: For high res version/s of One image/s please contact: Trade Conferences International. Submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Event brings together entire spectrum of the industry The sixth annual Mobile Money Africa will gather more than 400 industry leaders to discuss regional and digital payments in what has becoming an increasingly sophisticated marketplace, when the conference and expo returns to Johannesburg from 21-22 May. Brand new Digital Payments content has been added to Africa’s longest-running Mobile Money summit, to form the region’s most inclusive conference for the entire payments ecosystem. Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa 2014 brings together the entire spectrum of the industry, with retailers, regulators, banks, MNOs, microfinance institutions, donor agencies and NGOs amongst the senior-level mobile money experts attending this market-leading event. Interoperability in focus Event Director Emma Pearce says a main discussion point in the industry currently is interoperability, ”which is one of the key factors which will enable sector growth for the mobile payments industry. We are also seeing movements from governments spearheading cashless payments, such as the government of Nigeria. Regulators have the ability, through creating changes in fiscal policy and lifting restrictions in e-money regulations, to contribute significantly to the growth of m-payments across Africa.” She continues: “as the payments ecosystem evolves and strengthens, initiatives increasingly find themselves displaying greater convergence with the digital payments industry as a whole. The integration of digital payments into the agenda reflects the demands of an increasingly sophisticated marketplace, looking beyond the mobile channel into full digital integration for a truly cashless future.” Different regulatory environments One of the major challenges for the African payments ecosystem is how to work across disparate regulatory environments. During Mobile Money and Digital Payments Africa, a variety of different stakeholders will come together to discuss moving the . . .
Gauteng, South Africa: ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans offer complete guidance to the people who are facing cash flow difficulty in their business. ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans is a South Africa based company which provides comprehensive information about cash loan providers. They offer complete assistance in a wide variety of cash loans, especially to all those who are seeking loans. The team of experts of ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans provides complete guidance in business loans, personal loans, car loans, home loans, instant cash loans and all kinds of loans. Since its inception, ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans is doing quality work in assisting and managing the customer’s financial needs. Maintaining a regular cash flow in the business is a very difficult thing and that too when you have just started a new business. ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans understand the financial needs of the customers thus offers relevant guidance and information about the business loan providers. South Africa consist a vast network of loan providing companies and finding an appropriate cash loan provider is very tiring and complicated. The owner of the company quoted, “Doing a business and maintaining a constant cash flow is very difficult and helping them in their difficult times gives me a satisfaction.” Apart from this, they also provide assistance to new start ups and help them in getting easy cash loans in South Africa. So do not worry about urgent cash because ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans is always there for you when you need it the most. About The Company: ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans is aimed at assisting consumers with personal finance decisions by offering advice, information and comparison of a large number of finance and insurance providers on the South African market. Established in 2008 as a part of a network of financial websites, ProfiCredit Online Cash Loans focuses on demystifying the complex network of loan providers for anyone's needs, by offering . . .