Net1 loans are granted to Sassa beneficiaries through their subsidiary Moneyline Financial Services (Pty) Ltd.
These loans can be acquired from CPS pay points when grant recipients collect their Sassa payments.
Since legislation was passed to prohibit direct deductions from Sassa social grants payments, it became necessary for a Net1 loan applicant to open an account with Grindrod Bank called EasyPay Everywhere.
With this account, the funds paid into a Sassa bank account are automatically transferred to the beneficiaries’ EasyPay Everywhere account which makes it quick & easy for them to get Net1 loans as deductions can legally be effected from the EasyPay Everywhere account.
Net1 Sassa Loans
Grant beneficiaries can apply for Net1 Sassa loans as well as other products, through Moneyline, such as airtime, insurance & microloans as long as they have their EasyPay cards.
In a recent report, by amaBhungane, in an interview with a Sassa cardholder who said that after applying for a Net1 loan through their company Moneyline, the Net1 printout from that transaction included this warning;
“I hereby authorise Moneyline to access my bank account transaction history for the purposes of approving my loan request.”
This is contrary to what Net1 CFO Herman Kotze recently told the Pretoria High Court when he said that Net 1 and Moneyline “do not have, and do not seek, access to the beneficiaries’ accounts”, amaBhungane reported.
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Bearing the above in mind, grant beneficiaries applying for Net1 loans need to consider carefully the costs and personal information associated with getting loans through Net1 and Moneyline.
According to Net1, their short-term microloans offered to their South African cardholders are their largest financial services offering and where they earn revenue from the service fees charged on these loans.
Therefore, Net1 makes most of its money in financial services by providing microloans through its EasyPay Everywhere account which is additional to the Sassa one (in order to legally make deductions from the cardholder’s account).
Net1 loan applicants and EasyPay Everywhere account holders should know that Net1 charges transaction fees whenever a cardholder does anything at an ATM.
For instance, “Transaction fees apply when cardholder transacts at point of sale or an ATM, including cash withdrawal, balance enquiry, insufficient funds and other miscellaneous ATM fees which are recorded when an ATM user performs a transaction at an ATM.”
Net1 Loans Amount & Interest Charges
At the beginning of February this year (2017) Net1 had 1.8-million EasyPay Everywhere accounts belonging to beneficiaries who had taken out Net1 Sassa loans.
According to the amaBhungane report, Net1 charges a “flat fee” for the full term of the loan rather than charging interest on the loan.
- Net1’s short term personal loans range from R410 to R1,050
- The loan period ranges from 3 to 6 months within which they need to be repaid.
- a 6-month loan of R1,050 will attract a service fee of R330, which is 31% of the original amount, or an effective annual interest rate of 164%.
- A 3-month loan of R410 will attract a service fee of R100 which is 24% of the loan amount, or an effective annual rate of 280%.
These are the types of exorbitant interest rates you would expect to see from loan sharks and what makes it even worse is that these Net1 Sassa loans are guaranteed to be repaid as the amounts are deducted from the beneficiaries EasyPay accounts.
The biggest benefit of a Net1, Moneyline loan is that Sassa beneficiaries don’t have to queue in banks or go through a application and qualification process.
All they require is an Easypay Everywhere or their Green Card.
Loan beneficiaries need to be aware that money is not being deducted, without permission, from their accounts for airtime, electricity as well as and loan repayments & interest to subsidiary companies in the Net1 group.
Many Sassa social grant recipients have complained of having deductions being made from their accounts, including Net1 loan repayments, which they say they’ve never authorised.
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