Business News of 2014-06-17

Waxson Financial Services makes house rental easier

Waxson Financial Services (WFS), a microfinance institution (MFI) in the country, has introduced a product that makes it easier for home seekers nationwide to rent apartments and houses of their choice and make payment in monthly instalment.
The product, 'We Pay, You Sleep', seeks to ease the financial burden that most landlords in the capital and other cities nationwide often place on renters by requesting either one, two or three-year rent advances from prospective tenants.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WFS, Mr Korsi Dzokoto, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the product was part of the unique products offered by the company as it sought to distinguish itself from the numerous MFIs.
"Our customers are key to us. At WFS we don't do customer service; we practice customer delight, so we tailor our products specifically to suit to our customers’ needs," he said.
"If you go into the market, everybody does loans and all that, but do they really solve the problems that the customers are confronted with? We think it’s a no, and that's why we have introduced specialised products and services such as ‘We Pay, You Sleep,’" he added.
With the product, Mr Dzokoto said “customers needed to open an account with the company, save for a minimum of three months and afterwards qualify to benefit from the service. We also have a dispensation for prospective customers whose rent advance have already expired.”
According to the CEO, Once a customer agrees to access the product, such customers do not have to wait till their rents expire before they fruitlessly search for money to pay.
"We would pay for your rent as and when it is needed, so that you pay us back on monthly basis. That way you don't go through the hassle of having to pay rents for two or three years in advance," he said.
Treasury Plus Investment
Waxson Financial Services is one of the tens of hundreds of MFIs that serves as a lifeline to the country's sprawling micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).
Its customers are mainly market women, petty traders and start-ups who reside and work in and around the Kaneshie Market, Dansoman, Awoshie, Accra Central and Agblogbloshie, among others, the CEO said.
Although the company is relatively new in the industry, Mr Dzokoto said its commitment to excellence had earned it a total of over 3,000 customers, comprising both lenders and depositors.
Beyond these, he said the company also aimed at introducing products that would help enhance the lives of customers, as well as lure in more.
That effort, he said, informed the introduction of the Waxson Financial Service Treasury Plus Investment, a fixed-income investment that is linked to the Government of Ghana (GoG) Treasury Bill (T-Bill) Rate.
"What it means is that you do not need to fear when there are volatilities in the economy," he said, explaining that the decision to link the product to the GoG T-Bill rate was to ensure predictability in its returns.
The product was launched in mid-May this year, and Mr Dzokoto said the response had been positive so far.
He, thus, called on all high yield-seeking investors to take advantage of the initiative to lock up their funds in investments that would guarantee returns despite the current economic challenges. Aiming higher
Looking ahead, Mr Dzokoto said the future was bright for the company, as it aimed at growing steadily from a MFI to a bank in the near future.
He divulged that although the Bank of Ghana (BoG) rules required that MFIs maintained a stated capital of GH¢100,000, Waxson Financial Services had doubled its minimum capital to GH¢200,000 on the back of its ambitious target of migrating to a bank status.
Its assets have also grown over the years, rising to about GH¢800,000 as of December last year, he added.
These developments, he said, were signs of the robust nature of Waxson’s operations and its preparedness to service all manner of customers in the country irrespective of the nature of their businesses nor size.