DCASA’s 9th Annual Conference – a Sucess
The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa (DCASA) held their annual Conference during August. DCASA is South Africa’s largest Debt Counsellor association and members from across the country travelled to Emperor’s Palace (Gauteng) for the day long conference.
The venue was packed as Debt Counsellors and credit providers, as well as other service providers, filled the conference centre. Various banks and payment distribution agencies had display tables where they were able to engage with those attending. This allowed for conversations about specific matters to be held face to face.
Mel De Silva opened with a few words and acted as chairman for the day. He pointed out that this conference was DCASA’s 9th in it’s 10 years of existence. DCAS has been around slightly longer (by a few weeks) than the NCA has been in effect.
DCASA President Paul Slot then made an announcement about the launch of the new look DCASA website. www.dcasa.co.za
Economist Mike Schussler was the key note speaker for the day and spoke about the world economy and SA’s ratings by international ratings agencies. He explained the good and bad of the current world economic state and local affairs. Slightly less people are in debt trouble but also the banks are giving less people than normal credit these days. He says he is troubled that there are more credit active consumers in SA than people with jobs.
‘there are more credit active consumers in SA than people with jobs’
Caroline Da Silva of the FSB spoke to the audience about Twin Peaks. She gave background and discussed timelines. She also discussed how the NCR still looks to fall outside the process but will probably be on a board of regulators who meet regularly.
Debt Counsellors will (it seems) remain outside the provisions of the Conduct of Financial Institution Act but the new Regulator may want to try get some oversight… somehow.
The DTI made a presentation on possible amendments to the NCA and new possible proposed debt relief plans.
A tasty lunch gave attendees the chance to network and take a break before the afternoon session began.
Paul Slot (DCASA President) spoke about the number of consumers entering debt review. He discussed factors which attract and some that scare off consumers. Debt Counsellor fees was a hot topic with the crowd becoming very animated just at the mention of the topic.
15 500 Debt Review applications a month
Chris Barrett (of Google SA) discusses the online landscape. Starting with search engines in 1997 (and dial up), he worked to where the internet is today and where it is going in the near future.
Chris’s message was simple: Future Proof your business by focusing on mobile more.
Rules for better customer conversion:
- Help me faster
- Know me better
- Wow me everywhere
Chris reminded the audience that their website is not competing with other Debt Counsellors websites. No, they are competing with the best mobile experience a consumer has ever had.
Several of the Display Sponsors were kind enough to hand out prizes to several attendees.
Maximus handed out gift bags. DC Partner gave out some nice vouchers and Hyphen PDA a very fancy Tablet.
The day ended after a short Question & Answer session. The hundreds in attendance had a good time and the last question of the day was: When can we do it again. Mr Slot told the audience they would have to hang on till the same time next year.