South Africa has realized tremendous economic growth over the past few years, motivating consumers to spend more and broadening opportunities for local businesses, especially where it relates to e-commerce. It was out of this landscape that mobicred was born: South Africa’s first online-only revolving credit facility. Customers can select mobicred as an online payment option, just like credit cards or PayPal. After a brief once-off online application process, customers are approved for a specific risk-based facility limit that they can use with any participating online merchant. Being a mass-market, retail based product, the mobicred option is particularly attractive in South Africa where approximately only 20-25% of consumers carry a bankcard, primarily as a result of banks tending to be more risk conservative. The other 75% have virtually no other means of purchasing online, other than opting for the onerous EFT payment option.
Recognizing the incredible market opportunity to provide an alternative payment solution, mobicred turned to Redwood, a Cape Town-based company specializing in consumer finance outsourcing, delivery and consultancy solutions for the South African, African and Middle Eastern markets.
“Competition in this area is fierce,” explains Peter Versfeld, Chief Information Officer for Redwood. “If it takes more than a couple of seconds to complete a transaction using mobicred, the consumer has other payment options they can select. For that reason, mobicred was designed to be a lightning-fast, ecommerce aligned, real-time solution.”
Building mobicred from the ground up, the company’s standards for performance, integration and responsiveness were extremely high. Criteria for a new system included: Fast turnaround for on-line applications , easy integration to third-party data sources , real-time application assessment and credit granting , real-time purchase authorization , ability to comply with South Africa’s complex regulation and legislation , fast customer service capability, and online access for customers to update their data. And Redwood needed all of this functionality delivered online and via web services – at a reasonable cost.