AFS rebrands to AFB & launches first loyalty card in Ghana

One of the leading microfinance companies in Ghana, Africa Financial Service (AFS) has rebranded to Africa Financial Business (afb) with the launch of a loyalty card dubbed ‘Reward Card’ for its customers to get discounts at Melcom shops across the country.

The afb Reward Card, due to be activated on October 1, 2013, is the first loyalty card to be launched by any financial sector organization in country. Currently, it offers customers 10% discount on any purchase of up to GHC50 or more at all Melcom shops in Ghana.

The card also offers customers up to GHC2000 free life insurance cover and an electronic medical support system that covers some medical bills for the card holder. The free life insurance cover means if the card holder dies, afb will write off the debt of the deceased and also give his/her family up to GHC2000 to sustain themselves.

AFS used to offer loans to salaried workers only, and currently commands over 50,000 customers, comprising mainly soldiers, police officers, all workers of the Accountant-General’s Department, some nurses and some selected corporate organizations in the country.

But the transition to afb comes with a wide range of financial services including the free life insurance cover and electronic medical support service on the Reward Card; credit card services, mobile money and loans (Smartcash) to market traders as well. The company has already begun to serve some market traders at Nkawkaw and Nsawam.

The company is originally from Mauritius and has presence in Kenya and an emerging one in Zambia. It intends to bring to Ghana, what it calls the Retail Cards, which is already very popular in Kenya.

Group Chief Executive for afb, Karl Westvig said the company was introduced into Ghana in 2010, had so far invested some US$20million in Ghana. Its 50,000 customers are being served by some 135 workers in 23 branches across all 10 regions, plus another 1,000 sales agents spread across the country.

He said afb maintained a principle of being a responsible lender to responsible borrowers so it goes through a painstaking process to ensure that its clients were in the position to repay loans advanced to them. Its loans ranges from GHC500 to GHC20,000, depending on the salary level of the client.

“Once your documents are well processed and meets the requirement, it takes less than 10minutes for you to get a loan at afb, and at very competitive interest rate,” he said.

Westvig said there is no limit to how much afb would invest in Ghana because it finds Ghana a suitable business environment and it is committed to partnering with Ghanaians to grow the economy through responsible support for individuals and small businesses.

“In the short-term we want to drive a technology-led customer service revolution to better reach out and serve the people of Ghana. In the long-term we want to be an agent for change in the industry and truly empower our clients to make the right choices,” he said.

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