InnBucks remains one of the most compelling fintech products to come out of Zimbabwe in the past few years, maybe ever.
They have a large branch network and those branches being at Simbisa outlets, cash is hardly a challenge for them. Most people who receive USD transfers want to cash out and that makes InnBucks convenient.
For the one sending money, InnBucks is right up there with the cheapest services. You can also readily spend money in that InnBucks wallet on fast food at said Simbisa outlets.
Or keep it in there, using InnBucks as a savings account, one that doesn’t have any monthly ledger fees like banks do. You can leave your money in there for a year and you would come back to all of it intact.
And if you have any problem, InnBucks customer support is just great. I realise that it sounds like I’ve been paid to say all this but nada. Those are just facts, InnBucks is a compelling service, it’s proper competition for EcoCash this one.
All the above are great but you could argue EcoCash is competitive on all the above. Oh, except maybe on customer service, where EcoCash’s larger customer base and/or something else might be responsible for sub-par service.
Where EcoCash has Kashagi loans, InnBucks is encroaching yet again. Although, I think EcoCash’s are more accessible as they are EcoCash-activity based whereas InnBucks loans are salary-based.
InnBucks quick loans
InnBucks is now offering loans. These loans are available to both businesses and individuals. Personal loans are available for both civil servants and private-sector employees.
All personal loans are salary-based and InnBucks will give you up to 2.5 times your net salary.
- Interest rate – 10% per month for civil servants, 2.5-5% for private sector employees
- Once-off admin fee – 5%
- Once-off insurance fee – 1%
- Maximum loan amount – US$10,000
- Loan tenure (time to repay the loan) – 12 months
Documents to be submitted
- Latest payslip
- Confirmation of employment
- National I.D/Passport
For civil servants it’s simple enough to get a loan, InnBucks has an arrangement with their employer and will collect repayments direct from the SSB.
For private sector employees who have ever approached any Micro-Financier, ngoma ndiyo-ndiyo, you know the drill, your company has to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with InnBucks. This allows them to assess the quality of employment and also to get support to garnish loan repayments.
So, if you were looking for a loan, InnBucks now provides another option.
Loan application process
You may have rushed to the InnBucks app or their USSD looking for an ‘Apply for loan’ button to find no such thing. This is how you apply.
Private sector employees
InnBucks will not be dealing with you directly. They will deal with your employer. That means you can’t just walk into an InnBucks outlet with your payslip and bank statement and leave with a loan, regardless of how impressive they are.
Instead, your employer needs to call 569 or 08677569569 (toll-free numbers) or shoot an email to email@example.com.
They will have to come to an agreement. InnBucks will vet the employer and will need your employer to garnish loan repayments on their behalf if they agree to loan to your company’s employees.
Only when that’s done can you then apply for a loan.
Note: this is why InnBucks had to delete the promotional material on the quick loans that they had posted on social media. The ads made it seem like a private-sector employee could just call in and get a loan. InnBucks is working on promotional material that will make the process clear.
You call 569 or 08677569569, toll-free numbers, and tell them you want to apply for a loan and they will give you the number of the agent closest to you.
See, InnBucks is making use of agents across the country to be able to reach as many civil servants as possible.
So, InnBucks directs you to an agent and it is to that agent that you will fill out an application form and send the documents we talked about above. The agent we talked to added ‘passport photo’ to the list above.
The agent submits everything to InnBucks who actually process everything and as an agent we talked to put it,
Money is deposited into your inbucks account within 72hrs and withdraw it at any chicken inn near you, or bakers inn and innbucks booth.InnBucks agent
I checked, and if you’re in Kadoma you will get a Kwekwe agent, which is not ideal. Standard small-town problems, I guess.
I mentioned earlier how InnBucks is known for great customer care. They dropped the ball on the launch of Quick Loans. Here was my experience trying to ‘apply for a loan’.
I saw an InnBucks tweet that they were offering loans now. I bookmarked that to come back to it later. Trying to locate that tweet revealed it had been deleted for the reasons I talked about above.
Luckily, I had a screenshot of the tweet and so I called the number that was on there (08677569569). I got the information I was looking for. All good.
However, I was surprised when I tried calling around 1pm and was told that no one could take my call, they had all gone for lunch. This was the number that customers had to call to inquire about loans and yet the InnBucks team could not stagger their lunch breaks.
I had forgotten to ask something and so when I tried calling the number above the next day, I was surprised to hear ‘the extension you dialled cannot be connected.’ What?
I then called 569 and talked to some customer care guys. They said the credit team had disabled the calls because they had been overwhelmed by the number of calls they were getting. I found that a little surprising.
Then the customer care guys told me that there was no such thing as an InnBucks agent. Anyone claiming to be one is a scam artist. This went against the information I had gotten from the credit guys.
I then talked to media relations guys and they explained that the confusion was probably that InnBucks now has the wallet side and the Microfinance side. On the wallet side, there are no InnBucks agents but the Microfinance business does have agents. The customer care guys probably had their ‘wallet hats on’ when they said there were no quick loan agents.
We got reports of some people that saw the now-deleted social media posts and then set off to the nearest Simbisa outlets they could find. Only to be told by employees there that they had no idea what they were talking about, they didn’t know about any loans.
So, internally, the InnBucks teams and departments were not on the same page. Information was not free-flowing within the organisation.
I complained about this last year when I got conflicting information on some EcoCash products from customer care guys and an Econet shop. So, apparently, it is hard to keep teams this huge on the same page.
InnBucks will need to improve on this going forward.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know about InnBucks loans. They are not as accessible as Kashagi loans but if you are eligible this seems like a decent credit option. Especially for private sector employees who can get an interest rate as low as 2.5%.
Do let us know what you think about all this in the comments section below.