We live in interesting times in the era of digitization where you can get nearly everything with just a click of your finger.The demand for mobile loan apps in Kenya has increased exponentially as Kenyans develop appetite for easy loans.
The entry of smart phones and in extension mobile lending applications whose avant-garde is Kenya’s communication giant Safaricom Limited, is perhaps the most exciting milestone that has revolutionized access to loans and credit facilities in Kenya.
In efforts to keep up with current trends and changing times occasioned by advancement in ICT, banks have also joined the fray and have also launched mobile platforms where they provide credit and savings facilities to their customers.
With just a few clicks on your smartphone, people can now easily obtain a soft loan and sort out their pressing issues from their comfort without the shame of borrowing from relatives, colleagues or friends.
Mobile loan can simply be described as an instant loan that you borrow from a financial institution using your mobile phone.
Most digital lenders use mobile loan applications but recently, USSD has become increasingly popular as a channel of mobile loan transactions in the country.
If you are considering taking a mobile loan this year and you do not know where to start, the following list of top mobile loan applications and all essential details including their terms and interest rates should guide you.
1. Safaricom Mobile Loans
You can access these mobile loan facilities from Safaricom.
Unlike other mobile loans which require you to download an application, it is simple to get Safaricom mobile loans as you do not require another application.
Safaricom mobile loans are offered on three platforms which include:
This Safaricom mobile money facility enables customers to not only access credit instant facilities but also accumulate savings and earn interest after some time.
On this platform, customers can save from as little as Ksh1 for a specific period of time and access credit.
The Interest rate is up to 6.3 percent yearly on the savings amount.
The loan which can be from a minimum of Ksh1,000 up to Ksh1 million depending on the customer’s savings is usually credited to the Mpesa account.
The interest levy includes 9 percent for the account, 7.5 percent interest as the loan fees and 1.5 percent being excise duty.
The excise duty is usually deducted from the loan and sent to Mpesa.’
Requirements to access the Mshwari loan
· You should have registered with Mpesa for a period of not less than 6 months.
· You must be saving on M-shwari.
· You must be an active Safaricom user on their services such as Mpesa, data and voice calls.
How it works
With constant savings on Safaricom M-shwari your loan limit is able to grow from a minimum of Ksh100 to a maximum of Ksh 50,000.
After the loan is approved, you have a period of one month to repay the loan plus interest.
Repayment of the loan can be done through Mpesa account or Mshwari account before the due date to avoid penalties.
To access Mshwari loan from your mobile phone:
· Go to the M-PESA menu
· Click on Loans and Savings
· Select M-Shwari
· Select Loan
· Request Loan
· Enter amount
· Enter your M-PESA PIN
You will receive a message from Safaricom to confirm if the loan amount you requested has been approved together with the repayment date and interest charged.
This mobile loan facility is provided through collaboration between Safaricom Limited and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).
The platform offers loans ranging from Ksh1,000 up to Ksh1,000,000 with a repayment period of 30 days.
The service is available to Safaricom customers who are able to access instant loans with a monthly interest rate of 1.16 percent and negotiation fee charged at 2.5 percent.
Using this platform, customers can store their savings on KCB Mpesa accounts and as well as conduct money transactions interchangeably between their respective accounts free of charge.
The platform also offers a Fixed Deposit Account also known as Target Savings Account which enables one to earn interest of up to 7percent yearly.
This mobile money service is made possible through partnership between Safaricom Limited and NCBA and is offered through Mpesa.
The facility functions as bank overdraft by allowing customers to conduct money transactions even when they are short of cash in their Mpesa accounts.
You can get from a minimum of Ksh1 to a maximum of Ksh70,000 loan which is repayable within a duration of 30 days.
To qualify for Fuliza loan, one must be a registered Safaricom and Mpesa user for a period of not less than six months.
You just need to dial *234# using your Safaricom line in order to get the service.
Safaricom charges a 1 percent standard fee for maintenance and access to Fuliza services alongside the standard Mpesa transaction fees apply
You can always opt out of Fuliza services whenever you want using the Safaricom application.
Banks Mobile Loans
PesaPap Wallet offered by Family Bank
This mobile loan facility is offered by Family Bank to its customers who have a registered account.
You can get from a minimum of Ksh1000 up to Ksh 50,000 loan which is repayable within 30 days duration.
The bank charges a 6.62 percent monthly interest.
You can access the loan service by dialing *325# and following the prompts or by using the Family Bank mobile money application which you can download.
Eazzy App by Equity Bank
You can from as low as Ksh1000 up to Ksh3 million instant loan using this mobile loan facility.
You can get the service by downloading an Equity Mobile Application or dialing using your Equitel Line.
To qualify for a loan, you must have an active Equity bank account as well as an active Equitel Line for the past 6 months.
No guarantors or forms needed, just go to your app or dial *247# using your current Equitel number.
You can select a loan for one month or multiple monthly installments depending on your preference.
Eazzy loan monthly interest rates range from 2 percent to 10 percent which include 1 percent standard interest rate of the total loan amount charged by Equity Bank as the appraisal fee.
This is an additional 10 percent tax charged by the government.
KCB Vooma Loan offered by Kenya Commercial Bank
It was previously known as KCB Mobi Loan.
You have to be a registered KCB customer to qualify for this instant mobile loan.
To get this service just dial *522 or download the KCB Vooma application.
Loans offered range from a minimum of Ksh1,000 to a maximum of Ksh300,000 payable within 30-days duration.
Loan interest charged is 5.91 percent.
Mco-op Cash offered by Co-operative Bank
This product enables Cooperative Bank customers to access loans and various banking services.
You just need to dial *667# on your phone or download the MCo-op Cash application on Google Play Store or iOS App Store.
Cooperative Bank customers can get loans ranging from Ksh1000 up to Ksh 500,000 and 1.5 times of the net salary deposited in the Co-op bank.
Interest charged is 8 percent which is deducted before the loan is deposited in the customers’ account.
Loop offered by NCBA Bank
This digital banking facility enables you to get from Ksh50,000 to Ksh3 million personal loan and a maximum of Ksh100,000 as overdraft with no paperwork needed.
Loan interest rate charged is at 13 percent while the repayment period ranges from 6 to 36 months.
To access the loans, you just need to download and install the Loop App on your device and then create an account.
Timiza offered by ABSA Bank
You can access from a minimum of Ksh50 up to Ksh 1000,000 loan payable within 30 days on this digital lending facility.
To access the service, download a Timiza Application on Google Playstore or Android OS 4.0.
When you request for a loan, it is disbursed in your Timiza Account then you need to withdraw the money to Mpesa from Timiza.
The bank charges a one-time 5percent facility fee and if the customer fails to pay within a period of 30 days a 5percent rollover fee is charged.
HF Whizz offered by Housing Finance Corporation (HFC)
With this mobile loan facility, you can get a loan ranging from Ksh1000 to Ksh 50,000.
The loan has an interest rate of 7.725 percent.
You can download the HF Whizz Application on your smartphone or dial *618# to access the service.
However, to be eligible for the loans, you must have used the HF Whizz application for some time and also one has to undergo Know Your Client (KYC) process.
3. Mobile Loan Applications downloaded on Google Playstore
i. Tala Loan Application
It was initially known as Mkopo Rahisi before it was rebranded.
It is among the oldest and best digital money facilities and has endeared itself over the years as one of the top instant loan applications.
You can get up to Ksh 30,000 loan charged at 11.4 percent or 15.2 percent depending on the repayment duration.
ii. Branch Loan Application
Established in 2015 by Branch International, this is a popular mobile money application in Kenya.
It prides itself in being the first digital lender to participate in a review.
You can access instant loans ranging from Ksh1000 up to Ksh 70,000 with a repayment period of 30 days.
Depending on how a customer pays weekly installments, Branch Loan charges 10 percent to 27 percent interest fee which translates to 1 percent to 2 percent monthly interest rate.
To access the service, download Branch Loan App on Google Play Store, sign up using your Facebook account log in and request for a loan.
The company will review and upon consent, the money will be sent through your Mpesa account.
It is said to be one of the best mobile loans facilities in Kenya that offers affordable emergency funds to its customers.
You can access from Ksh500 to a maximum of Ksh20,000 instant loan from this digital facility.
Zenka gives out the first loan free where for instance if you apply for Sh3000, you pay back Sh3000.
The company charges 11 percent interest on loans paid on time and based on reviews from its customers, it has zero hidden costs.
To access the loans, you just need to download the Zenka App from the Zenka website or Google Store.
After registering your account by filling in the application form indicate the amount you wish to borrow and submit.
The company will review the application and if it is approved, the money is sent to your Mpesa where you can withdraw it.
Customers are able to grow their loan limit by making timely repayments.
Okash Mobile Money Application
This Opera-owned company has grown in leaps and bounds to emerge the most popular digital lending facility from a clientele of just 100,000 people.
The company offers flexible repayment terms which depend on loan repayment terms and customers’ credit history.
The loans range from a minimum of Ksh500 to a maximum of Ksh50,000 with a repayment duration of between 15-21 days.
It charges an annual interest fee of up to 36 percent and 1 percent interest fee for small loans with a 14-day repayment duration.
A loan with 91-day repayment period attracts 8.7 percent interest fee.
The downside would be the customer being subjected to embarrassment and privacy infringement in the event they fail to repay the loan within the agreed duration.
Unlike conventional financial institutions which involve painfully long processes such as security, guarantors, a waiting period, among others before one can get the much needed cash, mobile loans companies are just a few clicks away.
The increased demand for quick loans over the past few years, have seen countless mobile lending companies flood Kenyan market leaving consumers spoilt for choice.
In December 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta consented to a new law that gives the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) authority to rein in mobile lending startups in the country.
The new law is such a welcome relief to consumers who can now breathe easy from being constantly harangued and shamed by rogue mobile lending applications.
Following the enactment of the landmark Central Bank Act, 2021, digital lenders unlike previously when they were unmanned, are now regulated by CBK from licensing, competition, consumer privacy among others.