Wonga LoansImage courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Ms. Merryn Somerset Webb has recently written an article where she says how other financial institutions should follow Wonga’s example when it comes to lending to its customers. The article starts by discussing some of the problems that the financial industry in general has had to deal with over recent years. MoneyWeek’s editor-in-chief then talks further about how many of these problems have been the result of a lack of transparency within the industry. The article then states that because Wonga offers greater transparency with regards to the financial products it sells, its customers have quickly built up trust in the digital finance company – something which the more traditional financial institutions would be wise to follow suit.

Following the first public release of Wonga’s annual accounts, CEO Errol Damelin explained that the company’s almost 1 million customers represented only a third of those who actually applied for short term loans. As a responsible lender, Wonga only lends to people who can afford to borrow and therefore turns down many first time loan applicants. Most of Wonga’s customers, whom Damelin dubbed the “Facebook generation,” use Wonga to provide a short term fix, rather than having to pay unauthorised overdraft charges. 

Damelin explained that Wonga serves customers who want to take out a loan and know that they can repay it in three days, in just the same way they want to buy an item on iTunes.

Wonga’s annual accounts for 2012 showed that company lending increased by 68 percent, with the number of UK loans reaching nearly 4 million.

James Quinn, Financial Editor of the Daily Telegraph, 03 Sep 2013
Facebook Generation
Image courtesy of Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In South Africa, there is a perception that those applying for short term credit or unsecured loans do so as a result of needlessly overspending or spending more than they can truly afford. However, a new survey carried out by Wonga, has revealed a different reason. 

After gathering information from more than twelve thousand of Wonga’s South African based customers, it has been revealed that the primary reason for people applying for short term loans is to cover unexpected expenditures. This includes things such as purchasing what people regard as essential household items and paying urgent bills, as well as covering medical expenses and school fees.
Dawn Capital has announced it has raised in excess of GBP63 million during the first close of its Capital II fund. Those contributing to the fund include the Future Technologies Fund in the UK and the European Investment Fund. Dawn Capital, whose existing portfolio includes Wonga.com and Mimecast, will use the fund for investment in new technology ventures in both Europe and Great Britain The recent first close was successful in a large part because of the firm's portfolio and the success of companies such as Wonga, which was founded by Errol Damelin in 2007 and that has gone on to become one of the world’s most innovative providers of short term financial solutions. 
Young companies in the financial field in London are breaking the mould and disrupting the status quo that was maintained by high-street lenders and banks. Pioneering companies like Wonga are growing exponentially. Wonga achieved a nearly 300 percent rise in net profit, with business increasing threefold, in only one year. This sort of success is inspiring workers in the financial services sector to take the plunge into entrepreneurship and cause further disorder to the traditional market. Entrepreneurs are thriving on technology; companies like TransferWise are actively undercutting banks with online currency transfer and exchange and wonga.com is using a fully automated system as chief decision maker for all loans.

A throng of start-ups are tackling areas of the financial sector throughout the United Kingdom. Online companies like the short-term loan provider Wonga and the wealth management service company Nutmeg are taking on the established banks with relative ease. This can be ascribed to the increasingly poor reputation banks are suffering lately as well as their reluctance to embrace modernisation. Wonga and its counterparts welcome technology and use it to the benefit of their customers. The preferred platform for conducting business is the internet; sites are compatible with mobile devices and social media is embraced, paving the way to the future of finance.
Wonga’s initial site gained immediate interest. The first transaction was made within 10 minutes of their virtual doors opening. This was when Errol Damelin, the proprietor of Wonga realised that he was on to a winner.
Operating from an office in London, the entrepreneur was providing a solution to a problem that individuals were actively searching for. Within a year, solutions to the value of over £20 million changed hands and after 18 months Wonga conducted over a million transactions. Over 90% of their customers are satisfied with wonga.com and they have no lack of investors eager to be part of this exciting venture.
Continue reading: Wired.co.uk by William Shaw