The dramatic spread of COVID-19 has disrupted lives, livelihoods, communities, and businesses worldwide. In response, DAWN acted quickly and mobilized a COVID-19 response team within its senior management team to roll out a business continuity plan, not only to minimize the impact on its business but also to limit the disruption to clients’ businesses.
Here are four ways we are helping and supporting our clients:
- Modifying existing procedures to facilitate loan disbursements and repayments while accommodating restrictions set out by authorities.
DAWN is encouraging clients to transfer repayments through DAWN’s business partners – banks and mobile money agents. If the repayments through the third party are not comfortable for clients, one or two representatives of the group and individual customer can come to the branch while reimbursing the transport cost to customers. This change is particularly relevant for group lending clients, who were making repayments as a group at designated collection points before COVID-19. For disbursements, attendance numbers were limited to a maximum of five to comply with instructions from the Ministry of Health and Sport for Covid-19 prevention and social distancing. While this restriction has been relaxed, DAWN is still practicing social distancing measures in branches. In addition, DAWN performed remote loan appraisals for individual loans.
- Offering new product to clients to help them adapt to their difficult situations.
DAWN created a new product called “Emergency Top-Up Loan” to support clients’ businesses that have been impacted negatively by coronavirus. This loan is being disbursed in parallel with the client’s existing loan.
- Rescheduling repayments and providing prepaid loans.
DAWN is proactively contacting customers to reassess their repayment capacity and determine rescheduling options. In case this is not sufficient, the second step is that customers can request a prepaid loan and deduct a certain amount from it to offset the remaining balance of their existing loan. .
- Set up helpdesks in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
DAWN has provided contacts at head office and branches to help clients in any way we can.
As the situation evolves, DAWN will continue to listen to the changing needs of our clients and respond
ing with solutions to ensure their well-being during this troubling time.