Financial services provider Ithala SOC Limited is a financial institution that puts the growth of small businesses and consumers in townships first. The first phase of the pilot program to roll out ATM self-service devices (SSDs) was launched in November 2018 to 20 merchants in eThekwini's Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu, and was later introduced to the greater North KZN and Midlands regions.
More than 150 SSD units have been allocated to local shop owners across KZN, assisting an average of 200 customers per day. This program has grown and enhanced the revenue in townships and business owners praise this program for the fruits it has borne. SSDs allow customers to make cash withdrawals and balance enquiries, thus making transactional services accessible, convenient and efficient.
“I received the SSD unit early last year," says Thembinkosi Thusi, the owner of one of the tuck shops in the Ngonqokazi area. "It helped my business grow rapidly. I was able to extend my product offering to my customers through the profit the SSD unit generated. All I can say is that I am making more profit than before. The business has increased by 60% if I had to give my estimation. I never thought that owning a spaza shop would be the only thing that puts food on the table, take the kids to school and also makes me live a comfortable life.”
More than 150 SSD units have been allocated to local shop owners across KZN, assisting an average of 200 customers per day.
Ithala SOC Limited is a 100 percent subsidiary of Ithala Development Finance Corporation and is mandated to serve ordinary South Africans and help them to manage their money and create wealth.
“The whole idea behind this program is to assist in revitalising the township economy and give opportunities to small enterprises. We are very happy about the positive feedback we are getting from small business owners. We also want our local people to have access to financial services without travelling long distances from their homes to town," said Shane Moodley, head of retail and business banking. “The initiative to uplift SMMEs through innovative financial services is testament to our commitment to accelerate government priorities and fast-track the participation of the informal sector market in peri-urban and rural areas when collecting revenue.”
This did not only assist business owners but also customers who are very happy with the service and the convenience the machine brings.
“The machine is quick and easy to use. The fact that we don’t have to travel long distances to transact in town is a bonus for us,” says one of the local consumers.
Ithala continues to make financial services accessible to marginalised communities. New ATMs have been installed in the following areas: Thokoza supermarket, Sipho Gumede Rd, Illovo North; Dlamini Meat, Lot 1149 Section E, Umlazi; Umgeni Drift Supermarket Shop 1 L1138 Rd, Iqadi, Inanda.
A current distribution network of 39 branches in KZN provides convenient transacting facilities, which includes a comprehensive portfolio of corporate and personal financial service’s solutions.
For more information visit www.myithala.co.za, call 031 366 2500 or follow #MoveToIthala, @MyIthala #RedefiningWealth #MoneyTalks.