Code of practice

Code of practice

About us

Wonga.com is new to South Africa, but it’s been around for a few years in the UK, where it is a leading short-term lender. Wonga launched in the UK in 2007, and in SA in August 2011. We are based in Cape Town and provide credit to South Africans via the internet and mobile. We offer flexible loans of R500 to R8000 for anything up to a month.

We are a registered Credit Provider, regulated by the National Credit Act 34 of 2005. We are also a member of the MicroFinance Association of South Africa.

Our mission

Our mission is to solve consumers’ occasional, urgent and short-term cash flow problems with an equally short-term solution. We base our commitment to responsible lending on transparency, flexibility and extreme selectivity – we believe it’s possible to provide credit in a way that suits consumers, not lenders.

We feel that for too long, traditional banks and lenders in South Africa have been offering products which appear to have low interest rates and costs. However they are generating revenue by keeping consumers in long-term debt or through charges which are hidden in the small print. It is this lack of transparency that allows many financial products to be commercially viable. They bank on customers making mistakes, misunderstanding terms or using them irresponsibly.

Wonga is taking a fresh approach to short-term credit and this is a relatively new market in SA. Not everyone operating in this space is doing so scrupulously, so we’d like to explain exactly what consumers can expect when using our service. These principles are in addition to our strict adherence to South Africa’s regulatory requirements under the National Credit Act, as well as the Consumer Protection Act.

Our operating principles

1) Flexible

  • You will never be sold, encouraged or forced to borrow more credit than required
  • We will let you control exactly how much you want to borrow, down to the last cent, and then determine the cost by deciding how many days you need it for (within defined parameters)
  • If you haven't used Wonga before, we won't let you apply for more than R4000
  • We will determine your immediate and future credit limit based on in-depth credit and status checks, including how responsibly you have used our service in the past
  • We deliver on our promises and describe our service honestly and accurately at all times - we will never make any misleading claims or hard-sell you credit

2) Transparent

  • In addition to any regulatory requirements, we will always show you the total cost of repayment very clearly and prominently before you apply
  • This calculation includes all potential costs involved, with no hidden fees or catches
  • We also clearly explain the potential costs and consequences of late or non-payment
  • We won’t ever change the rate of interest or charge during the short life of your loan

3) Selective

  • We use Credit Bureaus and all the publicly-available data at our disposal to guard against fraud and make the best possible lending decisions based on your circumstances at the point of application. This includes evidence of your disposable income and financial commitments
  • You will receive an almost instant yet responsible decision on your screen
  • If you are declined, we will give you as much information as possible about the reasons why, along with any relevant advice we can offer
  • We recognise your circumstances can change so, if you return to use our service again, we will base every decision on a fresh review of your credit-worthiness, reserving the right to decline future applications even if you have repaid a previous loan on time
  • Regardless of whether you apply via the website or a cell phone, our checks will be just as rigorous

4) Short-term

  • You will always be encouraged to settle your debt quickly – either on time or early
  • You will be able to compare interest accrued at any stage with the total cost of credit on the agreed repayment date - at any time. We will clearly show you how much you could save
  • You can repay a loan early at any time and save money, paying only the interest accrued up to that point. We do not charge early repayment fees and there are no catches
  • We will remind you of your responsibilities, the amount owed and the repayment date agreed during the short course of your loan
  • We will automatically collect full repayment on the date agreed and never encourage you to roll your balance over for another term

5) Fair

  • We always provide clear warning about the serious nature of credit and explain the potential consequences of non-payment or late repayment
  • If your circumstances change for the worse, you will be treated fairly and respectfully
  • We abide by both the spirit and the word of the National Credit Regulator’s guidance on Debt Collection as outlined in Chapter 6 of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 and subsequent associated guidance
  • We only recruit and employ experienced collections professionals whose objective is to reach a practical and positive solution for both you and Wonga
  • We will only ever extend the length of your loan term when requested to do so by you – and if we believe it to be in your best interests. We will clearly explain the additional cost of extending your loan, require you to significantly reduce the outstanding balance to do so and limit the number of times you can move your repayment date.
  • We will never extend the term of your loan without your request
  • We will not charge you a default fee, but we may charge you administration costs incurred by us in attempting to collect what is owed to us by you.
  • We will freeze interest at the earliest possible stage – if a reasonable repayment plan can be agreed, or after a maximum of 60 days failing that

6) Responsive

  • We make it easy to contact us during office hours: via the website, email or phone
  • If you have a complaint or concern you will receive a response
  • If you are not satisfied with our response you can appeal the decision by writing to us again, stating your objections and providing any new information to be considered
  • We will respond to your complaint and endeavour to resolve it within 48 working hours. If your complaint is particularly complex it may take longer to investigate but, in these cases, we will explain why there is a delay and tell you when we will contact you again
  • If you are not satisfied with our response you can appeal the decision by writing to us again, stating your objections and providing any new information to be considered
  • We are registered with the National Credit Regulator, so you can register a complaint with them if you have already contacted us and feel we have not responded to your concerns or resolved the matter fairly: You can call the regulator on 0860 627 627, or send an email to [email protected] or if your complaint is related to debt counselling you can email [email protected]