Whether you earn a salary, run a business or are in charge of risk management services for your company – you probably know that people are increasingly strapped for cash. Even though the dreaded January has passed (where people are usually a bit more broke than usual thanks to over-spending during the holiday season), it seems like many South Africans are still struggling to keep their heads above water. Why?
According to the latest TransUnion Consumer Credit Index (CCI), consumer credit health deteriorated at a slower pace in the fouth quarter of 2013 than in the previous four quarters, but it is still under pressure. This, coupled with rising food and petrol prices (as well as the hike in interest rates that was announced towards the end of January), means it’s not surprising that people are struggling to pay their bills.
“Unsecured loan approval rates have moderated, indicating that credit grantors are generally applying a more conservative approach to mitigate their risk and have, for now at least, been able to stabilise their loan defaults. Much will depend on whether overall economic growth and pressures in the job market stabilise in 2014, and this is far from certain at this point,” commented Transunion CEO, Geoff Miller.
In order to minimize your business’ financial risk, you need to know exactly who you’re dealing with before you process a transaction or extend a line of credit, explains Leon van der Merwe, Business Development Manager at local credit check company pbVerify.
Know your customer by investing in an online credit check, consumer trace and ID verification tool
“Fin24 recently reported that in aggregate, consumers haven’t been able to reduce their credit card utilisation since 2010. If your company relies on payments from South African consumers – which most do – it would be wise to invest in a fool-proof ID verification and online credit check tool so that your employees can make sure they are dealing with clients that would be able to honour their commitment of repaying any outstanding debt, fees or bills to your company,” explained van der Merwe.
pbVerify’s online credit check system allows you to know your customer by giving you 24.7 access to current Consumer and Business credit information. Whether you need to verify the identities of consumers, do background credit checks on consumers and/or businesses, verify company and director registration detail, verify VAT registrations, verify Deeds information on properties or need to do pre-employment and academic background verifications, pbVerify does it all. The best part is that pbVerify is one of the most cost-effective solutions in South Africa, giving you the option to only pay for what you use (as well as the ability to process bulk consumer traces).