CBK licences 10 digital lenders as scrutiny of 278 others continues
The Central Bank of Kenya has so far approved 10 Digital Credit Providers of the 288 applications they received in accordance with CBK Act 2022 regulations on digital lending.
CBK has so far approved the applications of Cere Tech Limited, Getcash Capital Limited, Giando Africa Limited trading as Flash Credit Africa, Jijenge Credit Limited, Kweli Smart Solutions Limited, Mwanzo Credit Limited, MyWagepay Limited, Rewot Ciro Limited, Sevi Innovation Limited, and Sokohela Limited.
In March this year, CBK gazetted the digital lenders’ regulations paving way for their oversight and supervision. All digital lenders were to apply for licenses from the banking regulator before September 17th.
“The Regulations are now operational, all previously unregulated DCPs are required to apply to CBK for a license within six months of the publication of the Regulations, or cease operations,” CBK said in March.
The rapid growth of mobile lending necessitated the regulations that among other things sought to address high-interest rates, unethical debt collection practices, and the misuse of personal data by some digital lenders.
Companies seeking licensing have to among other things issue evidence and sources of funds invested or proposed to be invested in the business and demonstrate that the funds are not proceeds of crime, the proposed digital credit provider’s Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policies and procedures and the proposed digital credit provider’s data protection policies and procedures.
In the new regulations, digital lenders will apply to CBK for approval of interest rates on their loans, disclose all terms of their credit to borrowers, and have also been barred from sharing information of loan defaulters with third parties.
Digital lenders have been blamed for breaching the confidentiality of information of borrowers who default on loans and hiding the terms of their loans, opening an avenue for predatory lending.
Governor Njoroge said at the time that the regulations will bring sanity into an industry that has for years been blamed for predatory lending and debt-shaming borrowers in a bid to recover defaulted loans.
None of the big names in mobile lending such as Tala and Branch has been approved yet.
As the process of verification continues, we expect more companies to be approved as the CBK chases down its 60 days timeline for verification and licensing of digital lenders.