Over from 2017 saw an emergence of strong fintechs in east africa and realized more and more Micro-entrepreneurs and individual borrowers move towards alternative lending platforms like the Branch, Haraka, Saida, Tala, Shika, Equity Eazy Pay, Safaricom M-Swari, M coop cash,KCB M-pesa and Okolea
The number of users on these platforms are well over 70% in small and micro business owners as the loans needs move from just emergency loans to working capital and the need for instant financing on M-Pesa.
Currently the platforms registers thousands of online applications ( Branch, Haraka) and are therefore able to maintain a loan repayment rate of 90% to 95% while utilizing Artificial Intelligent and predictive credit scoring models that have enabled them lend to good payers.
The lending platforms, in instance the Branch and Haraka uses highly predictive behavioral analysis technologies to analyze data from a user’s phone reach out to borrowers who may not necessarily be able to come up with collateral required in conventional banks.
With commercial banks, the process is somehow tedious with tighter credit regulations in place and lower credit growth especially with the un-banked without credit history and more classified as high risk. Some positive note from the platform is that the individual borrowers normally pay back on time so they can build up their loan portfolio and access more funds.
The Branch has so far disbursed over $100 million on route to diversifying the brand into growing their maximum loan size currently at KES 50,000 and offering other financial services including savings, investment among others.
In 2017, Tala registered a 500 per cent increase in daily applications translating to about $225 million disbursed in Kenya which generates 90 per cent of the firm’s business.