Digital lenders disburse over Sh500 billion in mobile loans

Metropol Corporation CEO Gideon Kipyakwai, National Assembly ICT Committee Chairman Kuria Kimani and Digital Finance Services Association of Kenya(DFSAK) Chairman Kevin Mutiso go through some details on the mobile phone during the Digital Finance Summit 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Digital Lenders Association of Kenya has rebranded to Digital Financial Services Association of Kenya (DFSAK) even as it reported disbursing over Sh500 billion in mobile loans to small businesses and households over the last eight years

The association chair said the rebrand was a strategic bid to deepen financial inclusion by bringing together more players in the financial services ecosystem and being more responsive to customer needs.

"With a robust regulatory environment and increasing consumer interest, we expect the sector to keep deepening financial inclusion in the coming years," said DFSAK chairperson Kevin Mutiso yesterday during The Digital Finance Summit 2023 in Nairobi.

Mr Mutiso noted that more than eight million Kenyans have benefited from affordable mobile micro-loans, with an estimated 70 per cent borrowing for business reasons.

According to Mutiso, a vibrant tech-ecosystem and opening up of Africa's digital economy are now seen creating more opportunities for medium-small and micro enterprises that are increasingly hopping into digital and social media platforms to acquire customers and new markets.

"We foresee demand for mobile credit rising as small local businesses turn to online marketing platforms and seek growth funds beyond borders," he said.

Digital services are projected to add an extra Sh22.7 trillion to Africa's GDP by 2025, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Backing this trend is a near doubling of Kenya's fintech start-ups totaling Sh72.3 billion in 2022 from Sh36. 4 billion in 2021. DFSAK is looking to ride on these positive market sentiments to rack up more funding towards onward lending to the growing customer numbers, develop new digital financial services such as digital insurance, digital savings plan and digital investment platforms while bolstering financial literacy levels and oversee licensing of more providers.

"In the next phase, the association is looking to overturn the shortfalls experienced in the last eight years, including harmful debt collection practices still prevalent even as licensing continues," Mr Mutiso said.

KRA, KPA to auction overstayed imported goods at Mombasa port
Worker position in the Kenya-US trade agreement needs a rethink
Lukewarm start to coffee reforms drive puts farmers on edge
KPA denies ports privatisation claims as CFSs lay their demands