Visa and Kenya’s Micro-lender Branch Announce Partnership Targeting Merchants

The Branch Visa Partnership comes at a time when mobile loan apps in Kenya are very popular
The Branch Visa Partnership comes at a time when mobile loan apps in Kenya are very popular

Nairobi-based mobile micro-lender Branch and global financial services corporation Visa have announced a partnership which will enable the latter to offer custom financing to merchants who accept payments through Visa.

The partnership aims to lessen the cost of cash for merchants while increasing Branch’s customer base.

The merchants who qualify for loans under the new partnership will have access to a maximum of Sh30,000 repayable within six months. The loans will enable merchants to expand their businesses through infrastructure investments and supplemental stock.

Mobile Financial Apps as the ‘Cards’ of the Future

According to the Visa General Manager for East Africa, Sunny Walia, “We are happy to work with Branch to offer seamless access to finance through our Visa network, as they seek to provide micro-credit facilities to merchants across Kenya. With this partnership, we seek to offer value beyond just transactions. We would like to help the merchants grow their business and drive financial inclusion among the small merchant segments that are often unable to access quick loans.”

Branch is one of the most popular mobile loan apps in Kenya

Branch chief executive Matthew Flannery said: “Visa revolutionized the payments technology space and popularized the idea of the credit card to the world. At Branch, we think mobile financial apps are the ‘cards’ of the future. It only makes sense to be working together to bring world-class financial services to merchants here in Kenya and beyond.”

Branch is taking advantage of the growing smartphone use to offer financial services across Africa and Latin America while increasing financial inclusion.

Looking Ahead

This partnership comes at a time when the popularity of mobile lending platforms in Kenya is growing despite various concerns from regulators.

As the demand for mobile financial services in the country increases due to the convenience they offer, we could see Kenyans shifting to blockchain-based lending platforms such as Salt which offers zero transaction fees. Salt Lending is a platform that allows you to use your crypto assets as collateral when accessing a loan.