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There are great difficulties with microloans

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Microfinance institutions (MFIs), which were forced to tighten scoring during the coronavirus restrictions, find it difficult to find clients. The population’s debt burden continues to grow – by October 2020, the debt burden of Russians increased to 25.11%. There are fewer and fewer quality borrowers in the market, and MFIs have to compete in fierce competition for each of them. This leads to a revision of the marketing policy of companies in the sector and an increase in the cost of attracting a client by 10–40%.
Competition for new clients in the MFO market has intensified, even despite the arrival of new clients in the segment, who previously used only the services of banks, follows from the study by SRO Mir (Kommersant got acquainted with it), during which 114 companies were interviewed. The pandemic and unstable economic situation have forced most MFIs to rethink their marketing policies and budgets. 14% of the largest players were forced to sharply increase their marketing investments. The total marketing costs for large companies are estimated at tens of millions of rubles. And those numbers will grow as it costs MFIs more and more to attract clients.
This situation is a consequence of falling incomes of the population and an increase in the debt burden of citizens. The working population of the Russian Federation missed 841 billion rubles in the second quarter of 2020. income (this is 16 million average monthly salaries), such data are cited in the NKR rating agency. The wage fund (WF) decreased against the background of quarantine measures – the use of part-time work and a shorter working week – by 10% compared to the same period in 2019. At the same time, the population’s debt burden continued to grow. According to the NBCH, for the six months ended October 1, the average value of the debt burden (PD) of Russian borrowers rose to 25.11%, 2 pp higher than on April 1. And such an increase was recorded, despite the tightening of the assessment of borrowers by lenders and the reduction in the issuance of retail loans in April-September this year.
As a result, the struggle for clients has intensified among MFIs.
According to her estimates, if the situation with the pandemic, and then with the economy, deteriorates, the cost of attracting new customers could increase by 10-15%. During the “downtime”, people’s behavior changed to a more cautious one, and it became more difficult to get a high-quality client, says Ashot Tarasyan, General Director of TWINO Group of Companies. “This is what prompts financial market players to increase their marketing budgets,” he said. According to Vasily Kudukov, head of digital marketing and online sales at MFC Migcredit, increased competition for a quality client in the microfinance market will increase the cost of attracting clients from partner networks online in the fourth quarter by 40% compared to February-March. The increase in the cost of attracting a client online is due to the fact that all companies are trying to choose the most high-quality borrowers from the general mass in order to return to the pre-crisis level of issuance, but with other categories of clients, explains Mr. Kudukov.
To a greater extent, the current situation will affect the small players, who in the future will follow one of two paths. They will either join larger players or merge among themselves into groups of companies, says Yuri Kudryakov, general director of the financial marketplace “Unicom24”. In his opinion, it is possible that the market will face a stratification of the client base, large players will focus on attracting new, better quality clients and completely change the borrower’s portrait, while small players will focus on the classic MFO client, which is “imperfect”.
Polina Trifonova

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