Build healthier credit behaviour with Makro
Local investment app Franc earlier this year reported that there were around 22.5 million credit-active South Africans.
Katherine Madley, Massmart Marketing Vice President, says a healthy credit score is a powerful financial tool that can influence everything from the interest rates South Africans receive on loans to their ability to secure a home loan, finance a car, or even kick-start a business.
“A healthy credit record is crucial to South Africans achieving their financial goals, and one of the easiest ways to build your credit history is by getting a retail store account card, like Makro’s credit offering,” said Madley.
“When used responsibly, these solutions add value to customers’ shopping experiences and help them build better credit behaviour.”
Makro Credit is powered by leading retail credit provider RCS, wholly owned by BNP Paribas, and allows consumers to buy goods they need now and pay for them later.
The value-for-money retailer’s credit solution further empowers customers with more flexible payment options and exclusive benefits that provide convenience and value.
The solution also allows South Africans to access up to 3% back on their purchases in Makro vouchers.
Jason Sive, Strategic Partnerships Executive for RCS, adds, “Although our credit solutions make it easier to obtain products and other necessities, we urge South Africans to use credit responsibly and not fall into the debt trap.”
Here are some tips to help you manage your retail credit wisely:
Think before you spend
Although credit is a crucial part of most South Africans’ lives, a motto to help consumers manage credit wisely is to ‘think before you spend’.
Sive says, “The easiest way to apply this motto is by carefully considering each transaction and avoiding small unnecessary purchases with your credit account.”
“It’s important to understand the difference between your needs and wants and limit spending on non-essentials to keep your finances under control.”
South Africans can apply this motto to their credit behaviour by creating a budget to help them track their income and expenses and to identify areas where they can save.
They can also use tools like the Makro app to manage their credit account efficiently.
Manage your credit
Sive explains that another essential factor South Africans must prioritise is knowing their credit score and regularly checking for changes through credible sources like TransUnion.
“Knowing your credit score allows you to take appropriate actions to improve it, manage your credit use, and change bad spending habits,” said Sive.
He adds that consumers should educate themselves on longer-term financial planning, including setting up an emergency fund to avoid relying solely on their credit account.
“Regularly reading financial wellness articles and engaging with content that helps you improve your financial skills and understanding is another crucial step to achieving responsible, consistent and smart credit management.”
Understand the benefits of your retail credit account
Retail credit accounts enable consumers to maximise the value they can get from their accounts.
For example, Makro’s Credit Reward programme offers up to 3% back in rewards on every purchase.
“Get the most value out of your credit product by leveraging the benefits the account offers, like rewards, and even credit insurance that covers loss of income, which protects you against unforeseen circumstances,” said Sive.
“All these factors can enable your retail account to be a responsible line of credit during financially trying times.”
Madley concludes, “In this volatile economic climate, Makro aims to make our products more accessible to our customers. We understand that most South Africans are cash-strapped, and even with great deals on necessities, they don’t necessarily have the means to use cash.”
“That is why we offer credit solutions that enrich consumers’ lives and help them manage their credit wisely, shop smarter, and enjoy more value from their purchases.”