First steps into Uganda

First steps into Uganda

We believe in the potential of the African continent and its people, and have therefore taken our first steps into a new market:

Unifi Uganda is now officially part of our group. It was registered as a company in early 2020 and we’ve now concluded all of the necessary secretarial, tax and banking admin. This has laid the foundations for our business plan to be implemented, and we’ve appointed Michael Boden as Country Manager to help lead the way into this new territory. Michael is a qualified CA who has lived and studied in Australia for a number of years before returning to his native South Africa in 2019.

Sadly, the Covid-19 crisis has derailed our ambitious timeline to get Unifi Uganda operational, but in the meantime, Michael is working from the Unifi HQ in Stellenbosch and getting acquainted with Making Life Easy.

Unifi partners with Pep Zambia

Unifi partners with Pep Zambia

We’re excited to announce that Unifi loans are now available at Pep stores across Zambia. 

Clients can also make their Unifi loan repayments while they shop at Pep, which is yet another way we’re making life easy. There are currently 25 Unifi branches across the country and they will remain a core part of our business, but the Pep partnership will significantly increase our footprint and bring our outstanding financial solutions to even more clients across Zambia. 

Unibos will soon be making life easy for Unity Finance

Unibos will soon be making life easy for Unity Finance

Unifi’s world-class operating system, Unibos, will go live in Zambia on 15 June 2020. Our Chief Technology Officer, Gouws du Plessis, told us more about the system and how it’s been making life easy across the Group.

What is the Unibos System?

Unibos is an acronym for Unifi(ed) Business Operating System. For a computer the operating system is the core software that makes it work. Well-known operating systems in the world are Windows for desktop computers and Android for mobile devices. The operating system is right in the middle managing everything between the hardware, the user interfaces, other software and communication with the rest of the world.

Similarly, Unibos is the operating system of our business. It enables and facilitates our client interactions whether in the branches or via USSD, email, SMS, our websites and soon Pep.
It facilitates and governs our internal processes like client onboarding, credit policy and loan processing. With workflow and task management built in it will eliminate most of the Skype requests between branches and Head Office. For example, in new client origination, Head Office will automatically receive a task to do an employment confirmation. No need to manually send a request.

“managing everything between the hardware, the user interfaces, other software and communication with the rest of the world.”

Why is the roll-out to Unity Finance so exciting?

This is a very important moment in the history of our group. System conversions take a tremendous amount of time and energy. With all operating businesses finally on the same software platform, our focus and energy can go towards building new functionality and products and implementing innovations that will take our businesses to the next level. This, together with fewer issues, better processes and controls will make our lives and the lives of our clients easier.

Gouws du Plessis, Unifi’s Chief Technology Officer

Tell us about Unibos’ history.

The South African business Cobol experimented with online loans in 2011 and it soon became clear that this is a service clients want. The business was still running on the system Pro loan, which Unity also used before 2010. The system required all information to be captured manually and could not handle large volumes.

So, in 2012, development started on a new system that would enable the business to scale and help it to be super-efficient, which is what is required to make an online business work in a competitive market. On 8 September 2014, we took our collections department (aka. Colecta) live on the system replacing the LegalSoft software we used before.

The next milestone was Monday, 21 January 2019, when Ultimate Finance in Tanzania went live on the system. After that, the BranchApp was developed with the first loan being processed via the BranchApp on 21 August 2019. We then developed fingerprint capabilities with the first enrolments on 4 December 2019.