JMMB offers Express financing

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by: Geisha Alonzo

Elson James
Elson James
KERWIN PIERRE

Has­sle-free loans and same day ap­proval are among the ser­vices be­ing of­fered by JMMB Ex­press Fi­nance (T&T) Ltd, the newest ad­di­tion to the JMMB fam­i­ly, which is pro­vid­ing a con­sumer fi­nanc­ing so­lu­tion pred­i­cat­ed on in­clu­sion, fair price and a quick re­sponse.

CEO of JMMB Ex­press Fi­nance El­son James said the dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tors are built on im­prov­ing the fi­nan­cial cir­cum­stances of clients. While the com­pa­ny promis­es to de­liv­er com­pet­i­tive un­se­cured loans, the main goal is to break the cy­cle of debt clients ex­pe­ri­ence.

James, who un­der­scored the im­por­tance of hav­ing a cred­it score to se­cure a loan and at­trac­tive low­er re­pay­ment rates, said: “There are a lot of peo­ple with­in our mar­kets who have loans with var­i­ous in­sti­tu­tions and they don’t ben­e­fit from that loan da­ta. They go, they take out their stuff on hire pur­chase, they pay for it for years but they don’t have any sort of cred­it his­to­ry be­ing built.

“When it comes for them to get their car or mort­gage, there is no cred­it his­to­ry. For us it’s to try to get that mar­ket and bring them in­to the fold, so we al­low them to build a cred­it his­to­ry on a small­er loan. Then when they’re ready for that car or mort­gage or even in­vest­ments they have a path to that. They start with JMMB Ex­press Fi­nance and then they grow in­to the bank and then in­to in­vest­ments.”

The cen­tral ethos of JMMB is hav­ing the client’s best in­ter­est at heart.

Not­ing that in­ter­est rates are of­ten very high, James said be­cause tra­di­tion­al banks didn’t step in, clients have been forced to go to non-tra­di­tion­al lenders at high rates.

“We saw that as a busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ty but to al­so en­sure clients are get­ting a fair rate or a fair price for the loans that they are tak­ing and not be­ing tak­en ad­van­tage of,” he said.

He said JMMB’s prod­uct is dif­fer­ent from the of­fer­ings at oth­er lend­ing in­sti­tu­tions be­cause of the speed with which the trans­ac­tion is com­plet­ed.

“When you ap­ply—whether on­line or with­in our branch or on the phone—there is im­me­di­ate feed­back re­gard­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion and then we send you to get your doc­u­ments. I think we’re the first to try to turn the whole process up­side down so that you don’t in­cur that time and ex­pense,” James ex­plained.

“We are al­so dif­fer­ent by rate. We are cheap­er than a lot of the oth­er mi­cro-lenders. Cred­it card rates in the mar­ket go from 24 to 27 per cent. We ac­tu­al­ly start at 20 per cent and max­i­mum at 30 per cent but it all de­pends on your cred­it score.

“For us, whether you’re a new or ex­ist­ing client, we are go­ing to give you that feed­back right away.”

James said the size of the mar­ket in T&T for con­sumer fi­nance loans is es­ti­mat­ed at be­tween $20 to $30 bil­lion, rang­ing from un­se­cured prod­ucts to high end loans.

“In cre­at­ing this prod­uct we self-reg­u­lat­ed our busi­ness to $40,000. We al­so have a bank, so the idea is at that dol­lar amount most peo­ple can get the things they want for an emer­gency. Any­thing be­yond that you can go through the bank it­self and go through a lend­ing process,” he said, adding that JMMB’s door is open to any­one, mem­ber or not.

The new fa­cil­i­ty is lo­cat­ed at 86, Ram­saran Street, Ch­agua­nas.

“It’s cen­tral. So if we’re go­ing to start there, it’s easy to ac­cess Ch­agua­nas from both sides of the is­land.”

The com­pa­ny is al­ready con­sid­er­ing open­ing an­oth­er lo­ca­tion at Up­per Char­lotte Street, Port-of-Spain in a month’s time, as well as a branch at Cipero Street, San Fer­nan­do, with­in two months.

“Next year it will be the East-West Cor­ri­dor and To­ba­go, so be­fore we fin­ish our fi­nan­cial year we’re aim­ing to have four to five branch­es,” he said.

Bor­row­ers can ac­cess loans up to $40,000 with a re­pay­ment pe­ri­od of three years, from the JMMB Ex­press Fi­nance.

The ap­pli­ca­tion process is faster and re­pay­ment is made con­ve­nient with Ex­press Fi­nance. Clients can make loan pay­ments us­ing sev­er­al op­tions such as via Sure Pay, a Trinidad-based pay­ment cen­tre, JMMB Bank (T&T) and JMMB Ex­press Fi­nance lo­ca­tions.

Speak­ing at the launch of the ser­vice, JMMB Group chair­man Archibald Camp­bell gave an in­sight in­to the im­por­tance of the fa­cil­i­ty in T&T’s fi­nan­cial land­scape.

He cit­ed World Bank sta­tis­tics which show that while ap­prox­i­mate­ly 75 per cent of T&T’s pop­u­la­tion over the age of 15 have bank ac­counts, on­ly an es­ti­mat­ed 34 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion over the age of 18 is con­sid­ered to be fi­nan­cial­ly lit­er­ate. Ap­prox­i­mate­ly 58 per cent of peo­ple over the age of 15 in­di­cat­ed they have been un­able to save any mon­ey over the past year and on­ly 8.4 per cent of the over-15 pop­u­la­tion has ever bor­rowed from a li­censed fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion.

“Com­ing out of those sta­tis­tics the con­clu­sion to us was clear—more peo­ple need to be both brought in­to and in­clud­ed in the for­mal fi­nan­cial sec­tor,” Camp­bell said.

He con­clud­ed that more peo­ple are in dire need of be­ing per­son­al­ly-em­pow­ered through fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion.

“Guid­ed by the team of our co-founders Dr Noel Ly­on and (the late) Joan Dun­can, JMMB has tak­en on the man­date of broad­en­ing the net of fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in T&T with the roll-out of our first branch of JMMB Ex­press Fi­nance,” he said.

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