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Digital Credit Providers Approved by the Central Bank of Kenya

Joy Waweru | 1 week ago
Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge Image:Courtesy
Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge Image:Courtesy

The Central Bank of Kenya has released a list of the ten mobile money lenders that have been approved as of Monday 19th September.

Out of 228 applications, only 10 have successfully been reviewed. However, the governor of the Central Bank assured the other digital lenders that the process of approval is still ongoing and that they would be added in due course.

The 10 credit facilities include: Rewot Ciro Limited Get cash Capital Limited, Sokohela Limited Giando Africa Limited (Trading as Flash Credit Africa), Jijenge Credit Limited, MyWagepay Limited, Kweli Smart Solutions Limited, Mwanzo Credit Limited and Sevi Innovation Limited.

The CBK has also urged the remaining applicants to submit the pending documents to facilitate this process.

The unregulated digital credit providers who failed to apply for licensing have been warned against conducting illegal business.

"This is according to Section 59(2) of the Central Bank of Kenya Act (CBK Act), which required all operating unregulated DCPs to apply to CBK for a license within six months of the publication of the Central Bank of Kenya (Digital Credit Providers) Regulations, 2022 (the Regulations), i.e., by September 17, 2022, or cease operations."

Previously, digital money lenders were only required to register their businesses before entering in the trade. With the new law, the DCPs are not only required to be licensed by the Central Bank of Kenya but are also required to disclose the source of the funds and produce evidence to that effect.

According to the law. mobile lenders are required to also disclose their conditions and interest rates for loans. Before any policy s changed or implemented the lenders will require the approval of the regulator.

Disclosing the source of money is meant to mitigate money laundering and prove that the finances are not proceeds of crime.

The most common avenues for funding usually are high-net-worth individuals, commercial banks, private equity firms, and Development Financial Institutions.

The CBK has on-boarded other agencies and regulators including the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

This move was necessitated by public outcry owing to the high interest of debts, breach of privacy, and abuse of personal information as well as unethical loan recovery practices. 

Mobile lenders that fail to comply with the regulations risk attracting penalties and license withdrawals.

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