Bank Astana introduces microbusiness loans for entrepreneurs

ASTANA – Bank Astana recently introduced microbusiness loans for entrepreneurs, reported Forbes.kz. The loans are up to 3 million tenge (US$9,330) for a maximum of 24 months.

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Kazakhstan’s one million individual entrepreneurs often lack their due attention, said Bank Astana Managing Director Aidos Zhumagulov, as the bigger focus is on large corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises. As a result, the bank’s development strategy encompasses microbusiness loans.

“We are not launching the product if all business processes have still not been worked out, starting from application submission to giving a loan and subsequent services after the loan is received. We were all working last year on automating the processes, developing a scoring model, integrating our systems into different platforms and implementing tablet solutions,” he told Forbes.kz.

The bank tested the product in several regions to get preliminary observations on quality and possible drawbacks to be ready to announce a full-scale launch this year.

“Global Finance” named Bank Astana as Kazakhstan’s best digital bank last year, and it has been making every effort to live up to the name. Nearly 700,000 cards have been issued and delivered across Kazakhstan, said Zhumagulov. All services are digitised, as they do not require a person to visit the bank, and the microbusiness product follows the same mechanism.

An entrepreneur can submit an application online, including his personal identification number and contact details. Within a maximum of ten minutes, he or she can learn whether the business is eligible for a loan.

If approved, the required documents are sent to the bank online, where bank officers confirm the business. The online committee then completes the process, which takes a total of one-two days.

The bank received more than 8,000 applications worth 13 billion tenge (US$40.43 million) in two weeks in January. Zhumagulov noted with the “right approach and work in digital format,” the numbers show good potential.

“One of the benefits of a digital approach is that we can target online traffic towards thousands of clients in regions based on product demand. This means we no longer need to go outside and give out booklets. We manage Internet traffic in real time. All of these processes are due to the bank’s strong IT team, which enables us to build and integrate these solutions. This is really important in the digital era,” he added.

ASTANA – Bank Astana recently introduced microbusiness loans for entrepreneurs, reported Forbes.kz. The loans are up to 3 million tenge (US$9,330) for a maximum of 24 months.

Kazakhstan’s one million individual entrepreneurs often lack their due attention, said Bank Astana Managing Director Aidos Zhumagulov, as the bigger focus is on large corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises. As a result, the bank’s development strategy encompasses microbusiness loans.

“We are not launching the product if all business processes have still not been worked out, starting from application submission to giving a loan and subsequent services after the loan is received. We were all working last year on automating the processes, developing a scoring model, integrating our systems into different platforms and implementing tablet solutions,” he told Forbes.kz.

The bank tested the product in several regions to get preliminary observations on quality and possible drawbacks to be ready to announce a full-scale launch this year.

“Global Finance” named Bank Astana as Kazakhstan’s best digital bank last year, and it has been making every effort to live up to the name. Nearly 700,000 cards have been issued and delivered across Kazakhstan, said Zhumagulov. All services are digitised, as they do not require a person to visit the bank, and the microbusiness product follows the same mechanism.

An entrepreneur can submit an application online, including his personal identification number and contact details. Within a maximum of ten minutes, he or she can learn whether the business is eligible for a loan.

If approved, the required documents are sent to the bank online, where bank officers confirm the business. The online committee then completes the process, which takes a total of one-two days.

The bank received more than 8,000 applications worth 13 billion tenge (US$40.43 million) in two weeks in January. Zhumagulov noted with the “right approach and work in digital format,” the numbers show good potential.

“One of the benefits of a digital approach is that we can target online traffic towards thousands of clients in regions based on product demand. This means we no longer need to go outside and give out booklets. We manage Internet traffic in real time. All of these processes are due to the bank’s strong IT team, which enables us to build and integrate these solutions. This is really important in the digital era,” he added.

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