By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU
Abiola, a low level civil servant in Lagos got a taste of ‘Lagos life’ when his smartphone was snatched by a gang of teenagers wielding knives on his way from a night crawl sometimes in July. The loss of his phone was the loss of his ‘world’, as he put it. “My phone meant everything to me so when it was snatched by daredevils my world collapsed”, he told this newspaper.
To bridge the yawning gap, he resorted to using his other phone, a small Nokia which is useful only for making and receiving calls and text messages. “It was as if hell was literally let loose, as I was cut off socially and professionally speaking. I never knew life without my smartphone is death.”
He says his other financial commitments at home with a wife and three children make it impossible to venture into buying a new smartphone at the cost of N30,000. “My salary is just N50,000, this makes it impossible for me to go near a new phone.”
However, he stumbled on information that he can acquire a new smartphone on instalment payment arrangement. His friend Bukola introduced him to the new scheme, which is fast catching on in Nigeria, as many consumer goods can now be acquired upon payment of small percentage of the total cost, after which the buyer takes receipt of the item and pay the rest conveniently on an instalment arrangement.
Abiola went to CoolWorld, where after documentation of his financial details and a post written cheques covering the instalment sum, he went home with a new Samsung smartphone. The new scheme of buy and pay later has gained wide currency as more companies adopt this financing option to sell their products which range from electronics to home appliances, furniture and automobiles.
At CoolWorld, BusinessHallmark learnt that payment on instalment is made easy. ” With our Buy Now, Pay Later finance options (also known as a post dated cheque scheme), Coolworld gives you the chance to live the life you want today and walk away with your product whilst spreading the cost of the product over a number of payments.
“In order to qualify for the scheme we’ll take your details and perform a credit check with our partner credit check bureau CRC. Based on the result of the check, a decision will be made as to whether you are eligible for the scheme.
The terms and conditions associated with this scheme will vary based on the financing institution, BusinessHallmark gathered.
Finance options generally range from 6 to 12 months. The process; Select desired product – minimum purchase value N50,000, after which the prospective buyer can visit store to collect proforma invoice or click to download. Bank will require additional documents to process the buyer’s application.
If the buyer finance request is successful, the bank will advance the amount covering your pro forma invoice to CoolWorld and provide you with a letter confirming the financing. Once confirming letter is produced in store, CoolWorld will confirm and release the product to the buyer.
At Techno magnificent office in Ikeja buyers troop in on a daily basis to acquire the phones of their choices at the down payment of a tiny percentage of the actual cost, and the rest payment is spread between three to six months according to the arrangement. This arrangement varies from company to company. Slot, unarguably, the most popular phone dealer at the Computer village also has such a scheme, where buyers pay on instalment.
Zerofinance Nigeria is also another popular outlet to get your consumer goods based on instalment arrangement. Their PayQart instalment payment option makes it affordable to own products for low flexible payments with no initial deposit. You can add items to your basket from their wide selection of consumer goods with minimum order between N100, 000.00- N500, 000.00. This payment option is designed for those who are in paid employment within Lagos State with verifiable monthly income.
How it Works:
* Low Fixed Payments: PayQart instalment payment option makes shopping easy by promoting responsible purchasing through salary allotment or payroll deduction. Your payments are fixed amounts with a defined finish line.
* Convenient: You can apply from the comfort of your desk and notify Zerofinance to send their representative to pick up your documents at any location within Lagos state. Once approved, your product will be shipped directly to your home.
* Approval is quick and Easy: Find out if you qualify in less than 24-hours upon provision of your bank statement evidencing your last three salary payments.
* Make Scheduled Payments: Your payments will automatically be deducted from your salary account according to your payment schedule through postdated cheques or direct debit mandate.
Lateef Ajakaye , a staff of an insurance company told this newspaper that through the convenient payment mechanism of Zerofinance, he was able to purchase his refrigerator and Samsung television.
“I can tell you, Nigeria is gradually getting it right through this convenient payment by instalment adopted by Zerofinance, which is fast catching on now, I was able to equip my house. Without this arrangement, it would be difficult to do so.”
Juliet Okonkwo, a brand analyst at Investa in a chat with BusinessHallmark said; “Most consumer goods companies now realise the economic crunch most Nigerian workers are going through, they know that it is difficult to pay for most of these things once. And they need to sell their products; that is why they have devised this scheme of convenient payment for those in paid employment with strict conditions. ”
She said that the development is new, but it will soon become popular, and may be extended to those in self employment with strict conditions to minimise the risk. Most big phone dealers in Computer Village now have the scheme in place, and it is also becoming popular among big stores dealing in electronics and home appliances with varying conditions, according to findings by BusinessHallmark.