Kenya licenses more digital lenders

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has officially licensed an additional 10 digital lenders to operate in the country, bringing the total number of authorised digital credit providers (DCP) to 32. 

In line with Section 59(2) of the Central Bank of Kenya Act (CBK Act), the apex bank began supervising the digital lending space last year, establishing a transparent licensing process that will see to a saner digital lending space in Kenya.

Following the expiration of the three-day ultimatum by the CBK in 2022, 10 digital lenders—from a pool of 288—were initially licensed to operate in Kenya last year. Then in January, an additional 12 were listed. CBK’s announcement today brings the total number of licensed credit providers to 32, from a combined pool of over 400 applications,

The complete list of licensed digital lenders includes big names like Tala, MFS Africa, M-Kopa Loan, and Jumo. “Other applicants are at different stages in the process, largely awaiting the submission of requisite documentation. We urge these applicants to submit the pending documentation expeditiously to enable completion of the review of their applications,” a statement from the CBK reads.

For users of licensed companies, one thing is guaranteed: increased confidentiality for borrowers. Digital lenders are now barred from sharing customers’ information with all kinds of third parties—including credit reference bureaus—without prior consent from the customer. They are also expected to operate at least one physical office in the country.

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