Empowering Salary Earners

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Polaris Bank Limited has introduced a product that provides a quick finance solution to salary earners, writes Goddy Egene

The economic situation of Nigeria today has made financial planning difficult for many people. Even those who are employed and get salaries at the end of the month, find it hard to meet up with their financial obligations and commitments.

Due to the eroding purchasing power of many, the salaries are not enough to last throughout the month, most times, leaving many stranded half way. Although personal finance success is subject to consistent balance between what is earned and what is spent, most people fail in the aspect due to economic difficulties.

The most disciplined spenders still run into unexpected financial emergencies. Without time to plan for the expense or enough cash to face an untimely financial challenge, emergency spending can strain one’s finances.

In the face of uncertainty and mounting bills that do not really know calendars, the challenge of securing the needed cash and its attendant stress, is better overcome if there is a reliable source of financial intervention with less hassles.

But in recent times, Nigerian banks have made a strong showing in provision of credit solutions to address emergency spending needs which hitherto has been a playfield of fintechs offering Nigerians, especially those in formal employment access to quick cash to help with unexpected bills that were not envisaged.

They offer these access with attendant sweeteners, which beneficiaries cannot have enough of when required.
In this line, Polaris Bank Limited has introduced the Polaris Salary Advance (SALAD), which provides a quick finance solution.

It is designed to address emergency spending needs such as: household bills; health expenses; repairs & replacements; unexpected travels and moving expense, for example. The essence, it is said, is to help with uneven cash flow by allowing customers get a salary advance to deal with pressing financial obligations.

The Polaris SALAD enables their customers get up to 50 per cent of their monthly salary. Observers are of the belief that this solution is in line with the lender’s commitment to creating innovative financial solutions which requires no collateral to take advantage of.

Benefits of Polaris SALAD
Polaris SALAD is an easy-to-use customer-led product that enables employees to get up to 50 per cent of their net monthly salary to meet basic needs before their next payday. The product is designed to provide short term financing to customers via convenient and accessible digital channels such as the mobile phone.
What is more interesting is the duration between time of loan request and approval. According to the bank, it is done in less than a minute, without any physical visit to the bank or paperwork.

Requirements/modalities
According to the Bank’s Group Head, Products & Markets Development, Adebimpe Ihekuna, the product is designed to provide leverage for consumers to meet pressing financial needs such as paying their child/ward school fees, emergencies requiring funding, bill payments, amongst other needs.

Ihekuna, said the loan can be activated in a simple step-by-step process, “All you need do is to dial *833*12# to connect to Polaris USSD Banking, a dialog box appears showing customer’s eligible loan amount and option to input required loan amount; next menu shows the requested loan amount with the pricing, with an option to select ‘1-Accept’ or ‘2-Decline and the customer selects ‘1 –Accept’, and loan amount is immediately disbursed into customer’s salary account.

She said: “Beyond the financial empowerment that Polaris Salary Advance offers to our customers, getting such soft loans improve consumer lifestyle and help them be in charge of their resources, rather than banking on uncertain sources.”

Commenting on the new product, Managing Director/CEO, of Polaris Bank, Tokunbo Abiru said it was in line with the bank’s mission to delight her customers with easy product that enhances their lifestyles.
“We do not want our esteemed customers to get stranded due to paucity of funds in attending to critical needs. That is the spirit that berthed Polaris SALAD,” Abiru said.