Who Are the MFSA?
MicroFinance South Africa (MFSA) is an organization that represents responsible and professional Microfinance Credit Providers in South Africa.
MFSA (a Section 21 Company) was established back in in 1996 to support and advocate for these Microfinance credit providers and to help create a legal framework for their operations.
In the past, many smaller credit providers had something of a poor reputation for demanding high interest rates and not sticking to the law. Those who stuck to the law and were above board struggled to stand out from the crowd and the formation of the MFSA and membership helps consumers know they are dealing with a reputable credit provider.
What Do They Do?
One goal of MFSA is, among other things, to ensure a sustainable microfinance industry, where Microfinance credit providers can provide consumers with access to financial services in a responsible manner.
Their members will conduct full affordability assessments, credit checks and provide correct paperwork like ‘quotations’ and easy to understand contracts.
MFSA also strive to represent their members at things like the Credit Industry Forum and when legislative changes are being considered.
MFSA are very active in helping their members stay current with legislative and regulatory changes. They do this via their social media platforms, monthly newsletters and members meetings.
MFSA regularly provide members with training about matters like debt review and avoiding reckless credit.
Small Credit Providers Are A Big Part Of the Industry
In most economies there is a place for smaller, locally based, credit providers who focus on short term loans. The challenge is to ensure that such lenders treat their clients fairly.
Over the years, microfinance has, of course, dramatically evolved from just short term loans. These days these smaller credit providers have expanded their services to include lots of innovative financial products and technology-driven solutions.
MFSA strongly believe that their members contribute to economic growth and financial inclusion, making them an important part of the broader financial sector.
Who Are Micro Finance Credit Providers?
According to the National Credit Act and its regulations in South Africa, a Micro-Finance Institution (or micro finance credit provider is defined as a financial institution that provides microloans and other financial services to individuals and small businesses.
Loan Size: As per the National Credit Act, microloans are typically limited to a maximum principal amount of R8,000 (subject to changes in regulations).
Such credit providers traditionally service a clientele of lower-income individuals, micro-entrepreneurs, or small businesses who may have limited access to other financial services or providers.
It is important to note that: All credit providers, regardless of size and number of clients need to be registered with the National Credit Regulator and submit statistics and reports to them about their business and clients.
Disputes & Inquiries
If you are having a problem with a micro finance credit provider then you can contact the MFSA for assistance.
They are happy to try and help resolve the problem or put you in touch with the right parties. You can also contact them to check if a credit provider is a reputable member.