There are 3 top mobile loan companies in Kenya, Tala, Branch and Mshwari.The major question is, which among these three is the best in terms of interest, flexibility of payment and total amount paid to loanees.
Before you take a loan make sure you look for the following features:
- Low interest rates
- Not in a hurry to forward your name to CRB
- Prompt payment—few approval requirements
- Flexible payment terms
One thing most Kenyans hate is a mobile loan company which calls everybody in their contacts to confirm that you have not repaid your loan. It’s not only unethical but also going against the law. There are also other companies which will forward your name to CRB immediately the expiry period elapses. The good companies will contact you before submitting your name to CRB.
First let as look at the features of each of the three mobile loan companies:
- No minimum balance
- No charges levied on the account
- No charges for moving money from M-PESA to M-Shwari account and vice versa
- In line with the Banking (Amendment) Act 2016, all deposits on M-Shwari will earn interest of 7.35% p.a being 70% of CBR.
- The M-Shwari Loan Account is a micro-credit product which allows you to borrow money in times of need or to complement your savings towards an investment or enterprise. A one-time fee of 7.5% is levied for each loan. In order to qualify for a loan, all you need is to be an M-PESA subscriber for 6 months, save on M-Shwari and actively use other Safaricom services such as voice, data and M-PESA.
Tala is the second most popular mobile loan company in Kenya.
Some of the features include;
- Interest between 5-15%
- Loans up to Ksh30,000
- You must be listed in CRB
KEY FEATURES OF BRANCH
Branch offers loans from Ksh 250 to Ksh 70,000. Loan terms range from 4 – 48 weeks. Interest ranges from 13% – 29% with an equivalent monthly interest of 2% – 16% and APR of 22% – 199%, depending on your loan option. There are no late or rollover fees and no collateral necessary. Interest rates are determined by a number of factors, including your repayment history and the cost of lending for Branch. Standard SMS and data charges by your mobile carrier may apply.
Based on the facts above, it’s clear that Mshwari is the most flexible of all. The good thing about Mshwari is that you can even get a loan of over Ksh70,000 based on your repayment history. Among the three, Branch is a bit harsh on clients because the interest goes beyond 15%.
What makes Mshwari stand out is that they don’t call your contacts to inform them that you have defaulted the loan, they simply debit your account whenever you load your MPESA account.
Since Mshwari is owned by CBA which is one of the largest banks in Kenya, you don’t expect them to require members to pay their loans within a short period, this is because the company does not experience liquidity problems. For Tala and Branch, they depend on the loan you pay so as to lend other Kenyans.If you fail to repay within the stipulated time,they might be forced to use all means to ensure you return the cash, otherwise you’ll easily find your name in CRB.