KCB offers Sh30b for mobile loans

KCB will set aside Sh30 billion in a stimulus fund to be used for lending to KCB M-Pesa customers for the next 90 days.

This is to avail money to Kenyans as the coronavirus pandemic - which is fast stifling economic growth - escalates.

The fund will allow for higher borrowing limits for qualifying customers and extended repayment periods for borrowers with existing facilities.

KCB also said it has taken other crucial relief measures, including loan contract renegotiation to allow repayment moratoriums. Extension of repayment periods could also be extended to a year, with the bank ready to foot costs of the loan restructuring.

“We stand with Kenyans and all our customers at this time as our country grapples with the pandemic. Our firm priority remains ensuring that employees, customers, business partners and the entire population remains safe and free from the virus,” said Joshua Oigara, KCB Group CEO.

In 2019, KCB’s customers, who are in excess of 22 million, borrowed Sh212 billion on the bank’s KCB MPESA mobile lending platform. The platform is operated in partnership with Safaricom.

Financial obligations

Absa Kenya has also promised to pay monies owed to suppliers within 14 days, with supplier invoices of Sh1 million and below to receive their dues within a week. This move is to help small and medium entreprises fulfill their financial obligations.

Like KCB, the company is also intent on allowing borrowers negotiate terms for loan repayment. “Customers with active personal and business loans, who may be experiencing financial strain due to the prevailing circumstances, can ... discuss a suitable repayment plan,” said Absa. 

“We will provide options for customers to either restructure their loans by reducing their monthly installments over a period of up to one year, or take a short-term repayment holiday.”

Absa’s customers will receive a guaranteed cashback of 0.3 per cent every time they pay with their debit card, an offer that takes effect effective 25 of March 2020.

Further, the bank has waived all transaction fees on money transfers between mobile wallets and bank accounts until 30 June 2020.

Millions of borrowers who have previously been blacklisted will get a lifeline as they will access lending as long as they have been cleared. The credit limits will be reopened for them.

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