Undisclosed interest rates, other illegal dealings dog operations of digital lenders

Tired of the working conditions and what they described as unrealistic targets being set by their employer, some agents working with loan apps in the country have revealed unwholesome practices by their employers in bid to make profits.

According to some of the agents who craved anonymity, their employers forced them to disburse loans to people who never applied for the loans in a bid to meet their targets, ranging from 20 to 35 people, and are provided with 270 potential borrower phone numbers each day.

The mandate from their employers is to get loans disbursed to as many people as possible on a daily basis and by all means. And that comes with a target that must be met. For some daily conversion is 20, while others have it as high as 35 and the target often becomes higher as the need arises, according to the agents.

“Each day, we are assigned 270 numbers to call and we are expected to connect at least 90, that is, have communication with at least 90 customers. Some of the numbers could be switched off, and there could be hang-ups due to poor network, but you have to connect to 90.

“The worst is that the conversion rate target is not static, this week you could be asked to have a conversion rate of 35-40, and the next week it could be 45.

Another agent whose daily conversion target is 20 said: “I am in the nano department that handles Palmcredit and Xcrosscash. We are expected to achieve 20 conversions daily and these sum up to 120 conversions in a week.

“If you missed your target in a week, you will be sent for training, if you missed another week, you will be trained again until the third time. If you miss the target a 4th time, your appointment will be terminated.

Sharing her experience with one of the loan apps, a victim, Joseph Oluwakemi, 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 my interest. The agent tagged my picture with my BVN and sent it to all my contacts, describing me as a criminal.”

Borrowers are also lamenting the high-interest rates being charged by these loan apps, which oftentimes, are not fully disclosed before the loans are taken.

Many often realize in the course of repayment that they have to pay more than the interest rate stated before they took the loan.