Kenyans’ appetite for loans is attracting interest from digital lenders locally and across the world.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is said to be sitting on over 300 applications from a wide range of digital money lenders looking to have a bite of the giant cake that is loans.
Just recently, and after a lengthy period, CBK finally approved only approved 22 digital money lenders to operate in Kenya.
The number was picked from a pool of over 300 applications.
The CBK in October 2021, through the Central Bank Amendment Act of 2021, redefined regulatory standards and acceptable practices for digital lenders in the Kenya.
Later, in 2022, the government gave lenders a 3-day ultimatum to adhere/comply with the regulations – or be kicked out of operation.
This eventually happened – and many digital lenders left the lensing scene with a teary face.
But hundreds of those kicked out – plus many other new entrants are trying to get license, because there is money in this business.
To put this into perspective, borrowings from Safaricom’s Fuliza hit Sh578 billion in 2021.
Meanwhile, Kenyans have borrowed Sh19.6 billion from the Hustler Fund in a record three months since the product was launched by President William Ruto on November 30.
It is understandable why hundreds of digital lenders are looking to have a good bite of the cake.
Their appetite is fuelled by the fact that Kenya has over 40 million active subscribers to mobile money transfer services, the oil which is fueling the digital money lending surge.