POST-RELEASE OF STREAM WITH LEADING REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UKRAINIAN PDLS

Published: 15.06.2022
Updated: 05.07.2022

As we already know, after the quarantine, the credit market suffers greatly in any crisis. Almost all businesses in Ukraine are going through difficult times now. The PDL market froze, and clients reduced credit payments. Don’t panic! Every day SalesDoubler is looking for advice for our affiliates to get through economic problems as soon as possible and return to regular, familiar life.

Therefore, we decided to hold a stream with the TOP specialists of Ukrainian PDLs:

MoneyVeo – Olena Antronikova, Maxim Paraska
Money4you – Oleg Kuzminov
MyCredit – Serafima Negoda, Katerinchik Roman
CreditKasa – Vitaly Soloviev
SelfieCredit – Andriy Dokuchaev
Alexcredit – Volodimir Donskov
New Credits – Tamara Nightingale
Zecredit – Marina Krutko
Miloan Vasily Nikitin
SOS Credit – Mikhail Pochekay

On this stream, we talked, encouraged each other, exchanged experiences of working in a crisis, and answered 8 pre-prepared most pressing questions:

  1. February 24 – have you developed an action plan for this situation? What was done first?
  2. How did the client’s behavior change during Martial Law? What have you changed in your work with the client base?
  3. What instructions did the regulator give you after the introduction of Martial Law? Did he consult with you, listen to your advice, or request?
  4. The Verkhovna Rada has extended Martial Law until the end of August, but business must work. What are you planning to do next?
  5. Do you plan to adapt your product to new realities?
  6. Some PDLs have started lending and can already draw certain conclusions about the client’s behavior. Has the default rate for new customers increased?
  7. Do you plan to renew cooperation with CPA?
  8. Difficult question: what are your expectations and plans for the future?

The most common complaint of the stream representatives was that the sales market fell, appeared a problem with investing and portfolios were almost destroyed.

First reactions to changes

Until February, almost no company had developed an algorithm of actions for such a case. After talking with market leaders, it became even clearer that in the current realities, business needs an analyst who will develop forecasts based on world politics and economic state. Now forecasting is everything.

What has been done to save the business:

  • suspended the issuance of loans,
  • paid salaries to all employees,
  • stop business and marketing,
  • office closures,
  • introduction of loyalty programs to the customers, credit holidays, cancellation of interest on loans.

Recently, companies have tweaked the scoring for issuing credits to first and repeat customers.

Customer Behavior

The stream’s moderator, Olexander Boyko, CEO of SalesDoubler, took turns asking participants questions so that everyone could share their impressions of the latest circumstances in their companies. All representatives answered with sincere emotions because each of them felt hurt for their business.

How did customers react in the early days and now? How did you build the work with the portfolio and clients? How did you communicate, and how did the client respond?

Oleg, “Money4you”:

Good afternoon. In fact, there was no difference between a small and a big company. The same stress was experienced by all people, Money4you employees and customers. The issue of credit repayment for customers was not in the first and not even in the second place. Speaking specifically about our company, the pre-war portfolio that we had has already exhausted itself, precisely because of the war, of course. The risks for the company have grown significantly.
Customers in the north, south, and east responded, “Don’t you understand? We have a war outside the window.” It was already the case when we resumed communication with our customers. Not immediately, but about a month and a half after the start of active hostilities. Of course, we immediately turned off lending, stopped accruing interest, and introduced maximum loyalty programs for our customers. We offered to pay off only the body of credit, and we will cancel all interest. These actions still did not lead to the fact that customers began to pay for the credit. Yes, someone took advantage of this opportunity, but the risk still is very high. The main conclusion is that the pre-war portfolio is already almost lost. Perhaps we will consider the National Bank of Ukraine’s initiatives to resume lending. The main thing I wanted to say is that everyone was shocked. For us, this is a challenge. The first thing clients did was refuse to pay off their credits. Then repayments gradually resumed, but the risks still became 3 times higher.

Several more streamers complained that credit payments did not increase even after introducing the maximum possible loyalty programs. On the contrary, people perceived it as a calming mantra. Many clients expect the state to pass a law extending credit holidays or even canceling payments.

Companies lost touch with many customers. Some were forced to change their phone number; some people are in the occupied territory, where there is no mobile connection at all.

Now all representatives of PDLs are looking for alternative ways to resume business and finance their companies. They frankly admit that these are very difficult questions and difficult to solve.

Actions and assistance of the regulator during martial law

How can a PDL business survive? What role should the state play so that entrepreneurs in this market do not lose business?

Tamara, “New Credits”:

We, like everyone else, we’re not ready for such a development of events. The company New Credits tried its best to donate to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and canceled interest payments on the credit until mid-May. And to our surprise, the National Bank started communicating with associations with the question: “How can we be useful to you?” It was very helpful and relevant. We really got a lot of delays. The main useful thing that our regulator has done is that we have the opportunity to provide reports in terms and at the pace that everyone has. The state and the regulator should provide us with business support tools so we can direct these funds into the country’s economy again.

Currently, the streamers are not very happy with the fact that the regulator has reduced assistance, and they are not satisfied with the initiatives it offers. Ukrainian entrepreneurs in the field of PDL are learning to build business retention strategies. It is hard to talk about further development, but no one gives up.
The simplest action that a person can choose is to wait out the crisis, but not in our case. We all think about adaptation.

Predictions and personal opinion

Opinions and sentiments among representatives of PDLs were divided. Someone looks at the problem more pessimistically, someone more optimistically. Each expert has their own arguments supporting their own version of the development of events.

If there is no support from the regulator and adequate response, at the expense of which assets and funds it is possible to resume lending to PDLs, it will certainly be quite difficult to move on. Vasily, what do you think about this?

Vasily, “Miloan”:

Hi there! In any case, if there is no support from financial institutions, then by the end of the year, very few of them will exist in this market. We also faced what my colleagues voiced: loss of portfolios, non-payment of money by clients and market pull, because market pull does not equal clients’ quality. We need to know if they can work, pay, or if this particular product is right for them. Therefore, everything is rather sad if there is no refinancing, because credits are macroeconomics; without them, there will be no purchasing power in stores, which will have consequences. These consequences will not be felt immediately, just a little later, but it will be too late. If we don’t react now and don’t support microfinance organizations that are still ready to work in the Ukrainian market and are trying to stay here to support the Ukrainian economy in the first place. In that case, 3-4 companies will remain in the market at the end of the year. Now the credit market is trying to feel if it is possible to start from the beginning, with the now available clients who want to take the credits and are now in a better situation. I talked with colleagues, and they say there are very few such clients now. Before the war, there were about 100,000 clients at the market. Now there are fewer than 15,000 with whom you can work and lend. Therefore, all companies are fighting for a small piece of the market. The next 2-3 months will show if this market has a future.

Roman Katerynchyk, MyCredit.ua

May I tell you my opinion? Now I am ready to argue a little with my colleagues about someone owing us something. Let’s be honest; we provide loans at 300%, so the last ones to be rescued in this market after our country’s victory will be companies like us. That is why I urge you to be realistic. We all tried to build an honest business and be loyal to our customers. But we work in a super risky segment; each of us understands this, even our investors. We take this risk to make money. Therefore, I think that they will not help us. I heard that colleagues want to unite and file a complaint with the court for the payment of reparations. All this can be done to keep the legal department busy, but I don’t believe it will work. It is first. Secondly, why is everyone working now? Here I agree with Vasily that everyone loves these companies as their children. And those who begin to rebuild risk models and look for their clients will understand that the unit economy is taking shape, then they will use funds to resume this business. It will not cost much effort. Approximately $3 million can be found to get the company up and running. I’m afraid I have to disagree with Vasily that we only had 100,000 clients. There were many more, somewhere around 300,000; now, about 100,000 left. Judging by our portfolio, clients are behaving prudently. Our checks are small because customers apply for small checks. Of course, the portrait of our client changes a little, but the market will live.

We are more inclined to resolve the issue with the PDL business positively. People will work, recover, and rebuild, and they always need funds for this.

Of course, now it’s about keeping the business afloat and keeping people employed. Nobody speaks for profit or development.

In addition, the stream participants agreed that companies should now seek investments in PDLs in Ukraine. Previously, foreign investors were not particularly in a hurry to invest in the Ukrainian credit business, and now even more so. Roman Katerynchyk (MyCredit.ua) claims that investors from Ukraine have already offered him their money. And this means that not everything is as bad as it might seem. Subsequently, we are confident that foreign investors will have their eyes on Ukrainian credit companies.

As we already wrote, PDLs are adapting to new conditions and are fully focused on changing portfolios and rebuilding risk models. The market will remain because it provides services that almost everyone needs.
People quickly adapt, incomes change, and businesses start making money again. All these are good conditions for maintaining the PDL market.

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