How money apps force unapplied loans on customers – Agents

Joy Onuorah
Joy Onuorah
How money apps force unapplied loans on customers - Agents

A web of concerning practices has been unveiled within the realm of loan apps, with agents stepping forward to shed light on alarming tactics employed by the likes of Palmcredit, Easybuy, Xcrosscash, and Newcredit.

These agents shared their experiences, saying that their bosses force them to give out as many loans as possible every day, no matter what.

The agents have targets they must meet. Some need to give out 20 loans a day, while others have to give out even more. The pressure keeps increasing.

To meet these targets, the agents are given a list of phone numbers to call every day. They have to talk to at least 90 people and convince 20 of them to take a loan. If they don’t meet these targets, they could lose their jobs.

One agent explained, “We get 270 numbers to call every day. We have to talk to at least 90 people and make 20 of them take a loan. The targets keep changing. One week it’s 35-40, the next week it’s 45.”

Sometimes, the agents give loans to people who never asked for them, just to meet their targets. They can do this because they have access to people’s accounts on the loan apps.

The loan apps charge high-interest rates, and they don’t always tell borrowers how much they’ll have to pay back. One agent said, “They tell us to tell customers that the interest is 8%, but someone who borrows 100,000 might end up paying back over 70,000 as interest charges. That’s 70%!

“Secondly, we have sold by cajoling customers on promos that never were in place, an example was during December last year when we were asked to pitch a New Year Promo to the customers, where they could win iPhone 11 pro max, but there was nothing like that. Maybe some people can win tomorrow anyways.”

When the agents tried to protest and ask for better working conditions, the company threatened to fire them.

According to them, the management of the company handling the loan apps, Emtill Solutions Limited hastily issued an undertaking, compelling all staff to sign.

Part of the undertaken read: “I will contribute to maintaining a peaceful and harmonious workplace for all employees. I will refrain from any actions or behaviours that may incite or contribute to riotous situations.
“I understand that engaging in riotous behaviour is a serious violation of company policies and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. I am prepared to accept responsibility for my actions and face the consequences should I fail to abide by this undertaken.”

While some of the agents refused to sign the undertaking and went on to stage the protest within the premises of the company, 7 of them were handed their employment termination letter the following day.

A copy of the termination letter dated August 4, 2023, reads: “We are sorry to inform you that your appointment with EMTILL SOLUTION LIMITED as SALES AGENT is terminated with immediate effect, which is also your last working day. You are hereby required to hand over any company material, equipment, and documents in your possession to the Human Resources Department.”

Nairametrics reported that when contacted, the Human Resource Manager at Emtill, Mr. Olurankinse Oludotun confirmed that indeed that the agents were sacked for protesting.

According to him, they were made to sign an undertaking that forbid them from staging any protest.

“The content of the undertaken does not suggest that they cannot complain about the work, but it says they cannot make a protest while at work. What we are saying is that if there is a need for them to complain, they should use the official means to complain, not protest.”

While denying the claims by the agents that the working condition in the company was bad, he admitted that “there is always room for improvement.” Oludotun also described every other allegation levelled against the company as ‘untrue’.

Speaking on why the company encourages the disbursement of loans to people that did not request it in order to meet targets, Oludotun said: “Well, you will agree with me that employees have a way of badmouthing the company. For an employee to say they are being mandated to push loans to people that did not request, it is very wrong.”

On the claims that the agents are being given unrealistic targets that force them to be pushed out loans by all possible means, the HR Manager said: “That is not correct.”

Victims like Joseph Oluwakemi narrated their harrowing experiences, with some finding unauthorized loans deposited in their accounts and being pursued for repayment.

He said, “I was a victim of Hen loan last month. They paid a loan I never requested into my account, I complained and they took back the money. After the seven days lapsed they started threatening me for the interest. The agent tagged my picture with my BVN and sent it to all my contacts, describing me as a criminal.” 

Amidst these revelations, the blurred lines between loan app companies further complicate matters.

Newedge Finance Limited, the approved operator of apps including Palmcredit, Easybuy, and Newcredit, outsourced sales management to Emtill Solutions Limited.

Despite this, agents assert their allegiance to Newedge, as transactions flow through Newedge finance accounts.

These practices are undeniably causing a lot of problems for borrowers.

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