Philip Belamant Partners with Customers to Improve Their Financial Futures
Philip Belamant, widely known as the founder and CEO of Zilch and other innovative consumer financial products, has a deep desire to help his fellow South Africans access the credit they need. The people who depend on his financial technology typically have poor credit, low incomes, and a deep distrust of traditional banks.
Philip Belamant Jumps On Opportunity to Serve the Unbanked
Belamant integrated two important financial products in response to this need, one developed by his father and the other by himself. His father has long worked with technology to fulfill the unmet financial needs of people whom many banks and creditors would ignore. Belamant shared the same interest, having tweaked it to use the skills he learned while earning a degree at the University of Johannesburg.
Philip Belamant combined Magstripe card payment technology developed by his father with the virtual payment technology he created. The integration was instantly successful in providing greater financial inclusion to underserved communities across South Africa. Anyone with a mobile phone could make virtual payments and check the balance of their pre-paid accounts with just a few commands. Because of this, most South Africans who needed access to credit received it.
Lessening Customers’ Dependence on Payday Loans by Analyzing Their Spending Habits
Belamant felt troubled that payday lenders took advantage of his customers by charging interest greater than 100 percent. He knew he could offer them something better and set out to do it. Having created the financial services company Manje in 2009, he understood he was in a good position to help the poor people in his country rather than take advantage of them.
Upon release of his new financial program, customers could swipe their cards at grocery and retail stores to receive immediate credit to pay for their purchases. Philip Belamant allowed his customers to repay what they had borrowed in a few payments without charging them any interest. Belamant called this new business Moola, and it is one of several that operate under the umbrella of Manje and PBel.
To Belamant’s delight, eight million people signed up for Moola within six months and put half of South Africa’s predatory payday lending companies out of business. The new program’s success enabled Manje to rank as a Top 40 financial technology (fintech) company in South Africa.
Philip Belamant Recognized as a Fintech Disruptor at Just 37 Years Old
In the 16 years since he graduated from college, Belamant has created, developed, and sold mobile payment services and value-added services in more than 25 countries. Philip Belamant founded Zilch, a buy now and pay later (BNPL) credit opportunity for unbanked people, in 2018. Zilch has radically disrupted the traditional credit industry by offering innovative financial products that support inclusion and financial health for all.
Zilch differs from other BNLP businesses that establish repayment accounts in such a way that only benefits the creditor. Belamant has always insisted that consumers benefit more than he does from using his products because he believes in their inherent worth as individuals despite their financial situation.