Main strategy of Asian Credit Fund is consumer rights protection

The Article was published in newspaper on October 02, 2020

The trust of our customers is a driver of ACF success.

MFO Asian Credit Fund (ACF) is one of the leading microfinance organizations in Kazakhstan. ACF has been carrying out its activity for more than 20 years providing financing to rural households and small business. As of August 31, 2020, ACF helped to fulfil dreams to more than 87 000 customers to the amount of 47.3 bln tenge.
The microfinance activity in Kazakhstan is regulated by the RK Agency for Financial Market Regulation and Development. ACF became one of the first MFO registered in the regulatory authority’s Register.
ACF is represented in seven regions of Kazakhstan and provides financial support through 50 departments located in the rural district centres. More than 300 employees of these departments are always glad to help rural citizens to implement their ideas. ACF provides individual and group, secured and unsecured microloans with the final purpose – to improve quality of households living by increasing their income and to help small business in development.

Who uses ACF services? According to description of ACF ordinary customer, this is a woman living in a village with husband and three children. A family usually has different sources of income – these are salary and incomes from small business or livestock breeding. Knowledge of its customer helps ACF to develop microloan products considering the customers’ needs and specific character of rural population living.

Providing financing, ACF is interested in providing accessible and high-quality services to population. Since the beginning of its activity, ACF has been aimed at the best standards of service and followed a balance between the financial and social indicators. ACF strictly follows the requirements and rules of the Financial Services Consumer Rights Protection Department of the RK Agency for Financial Market Regulation and Development.

In 2017 ACF successfully completed certification under SMART campaign program to confirm implementation of internationally recognized principles of customer protection based on assessment held by private and independent international rating agency MicroFinanza Rating. Receipt of the certificate confirms that in its daily activity ACF complies with the principles of customers protection applicable in the microfinance industry all over the world.

“We give confidence to our customers and want our customers give confidence to us as a responsible financial partner which protects its customers,” Zhanna Bolatkhanovna Zhakupova, ACF Executive Director said.

What standards of customer protection are used by microfinance community and how did ACF implement them in its activity? There are seven main standards.

Standard 1. Proper development and provision of the financial products. ACF creates its products based on the market analysis and study of population demand. ACF controls the level of customer satisfaction and takes the required corrective measures in respect of its products and services based on the information received annually. The products comply with the international requirements and requirements of the regulatory authority.

Standard 2. Prevention from excessive indebtedness of population. ACF takes all measures required to grant microloans only to those borrowers who can repay a microloan smoothly and the microloans granted do not expose the customers to the risk of excessive indebtedness.

Standard 3. Transparency. ACF places the interest rates in all marketing materials, provides the contracts in two languages, there are no small print or references in the contracts. Annually ACF is audited externally by Ernst&Young Company which is included into the famous Big Four. The audited statements are available on the web-site of ACF.

Standard 4. Reasonable policy of pricing. ACF does not charge any one-time fees for granting microloan, permits early repayment at any time without any additional expenses, charges the payment delay fee on the principal only. During pandemic ACF fully cancelled all penalties on all microloan contracts and continues this policy to the present time.

Standard 5. Fair and respectful attitude towards the customers and employees of the Company. ACF promotes the culture of respectful service and does not permit any form of discrimination. ACF stated the values and expected standards of employees behaviour. ACF customers and employees know and share these values. Standard 6. Provision of customer data confidentiality. ACF guarantees that without consent of a customer no personal data of a customer will be disclosed.

Standard 7. Efficiently working mechanism of population complaints resolution. You can contact ACF and tell about your complaints and offers by calling hot line 5061, sending the complaint to or asking for a call back on ACF web-site No one complaint of ACF customers will be left without consideration and answer. The trust of our customers – is a driver of ACF success.

On October 5, 2019, ACF acknowledged stable orientation of ACF towards compliance with the Smart Campaign customer protection principles. At the moment, ACF remains to be one of two MFO in Kazakhstan which implemented and follow the international standards of customer protection.