South African enterprise payments platform Nomanini has launched a loans system for Ghanaian merchants, aimed at offering credit to informal retailers previously excluded from financial services.
Nomanini’s platform enables informal merchants and micro-entrepreneurs in emerging markets to distribute digital goods, such as airtime and prepaid electricity.
Having launched in 2010, the company has been able to collect a large dataset on informal merchants across developing markets, prompting the trial of the new loans solution.
Under the new system, Ghanaian merchants registered on Nomanini’s platform will be offered overnight or weekly loans of up to US$100.
The aim of the system is to offer merchants increased access to capital and help them develop a financial history as a retail business, to enable them to access working capital.
“While Nomanini has been focused on merchant transactions thus far, we have gathered a lot of data on merchants. These individuals have for the most part been unable to access credit as banks know little or nothing about them,” says Vahid Monadjem, chief executive officer (CEO) of Nomanini.
Over the next few months, Nomanini will collect repayment and default data on merchants with the aim of presenting it to possible partners in March, at which point the company aims to be able to expand the service to other markets, offering larger amounts for longer durations.
“Traditionally, the merchants we serve have lacked access to finance, but this rollout breaks down those barriers. Long-term we will be looking for partners to help us offer advances to as many merchants as need them, and in doing so we can play a part in helping informal economies grow,” Monadjem says.