Starting tomorrow (January 31st, 2023) loan apps operating on the Google Play platform targeting users of Android devices, have to contend with some new requirements. These are measures put in place by Google to make sure that they are dealing with legal entities in Kenya that have the capacity to handle the necessary data involved, properly.
On top of that, last year, the Central Bank of Kenya required all unregulated digital credit providers in the country to register with it by mid-September.
Subsequently, the Central Bank of Kenya went ahead and made public a list of the digital credit providers whose applications it approved, a paltry 10 of the 288 applications received.
An updated to its directory of digital credit providers, many of whom operate via the infamous loan apps as well as short codes (USSD), shows steady growth since then to more than double. As of today, January 30th, 2023, these are the approved digital credit providers in Kenya:
- Zanifu Limited
- Umoja Fanisi Limited
- Tenakata Enterprises Limited
- Sokohela Limited
- Sevi Innovation Limited
- Rewot Ciro Limited
- Ngao Credit Limited
- Natal Tech Company Limited
- MyWagePay Limited
- MyCredit Limited
- Mwanzo Credit Limited
- M-Kopa Loan Kenya Limited
- MFS Technologies Limited
- Letshego Kenya Limited
- Jumo Kenya Limited
- Inventure Mobile Limited (Tala)
- Kweli Smart Solutions Limited
- Jijenge Credit Limited
- Giando Africa Limited (Flash Credit Africa)
- Getcash Capital Limited
- Ceres Tech Limited
Notable inclusions in the list above include M-Kopa, which offers various loans including the (in)famous Kshs 60 per day smartphone. There is also Tala and Jumo Kenya. The latter is the company that former IT, Youth and Innovation Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has joined as the president.
It is worth noting that Branch, a popular digital credit provider, is missing from this list because it transitioned to a bank and banks are already regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya.
Without the approval of the Central Bank of Kenya and listing on its directory, a digital credit provider cannot be approved by Google to have their app listed on the Play Store.
The regulations in force help to deal with issues that had arisen from the usage of digital loan products including the invasion of privacy where apps would raid borrower’s contact lists, upload them to their servers and use them to coerce them and their contacts to pay back the loans in the event of non-performance of the said loans. The other issue was predatory lending practices that have seen Kenyans suffer from very high interest loans that they have become enslaved to.
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