Branch, one of the largest mobile-lending services in Kenya, has announced that it has already issued 10 million loans in Kenya and counting.
Launched in 2015, Branch has seen impressive success as it expands across the country, including rural areas where the service has become popular as internet and smartphone penetration increases. This growth has come despite high interest rates of up to 15% charged by the service.
According to Daniel Szlapak, Head of Global Operations, Branch:
“It’s very exciting to be serving millions of Kenyans and providing them with access to essential financial services. The huge growth and success in the Kenya market has positioned the company for strong global expansion.”
Tala, arguably the largest lender in Kenya, has also seen tremendous success in mobile lending despite criticism of their high lending rates and unchecked access to these services. The success of these apps is based on financial inclusion, the success of MPESA, and the fact that the space is still largely unregulated for fintech players.
As a result of the success of MPESA, Kenya has become a springboard for testing out mobile fintech solutions before expanding to other African countries and the world. Branch is looking to expand into India as result of such success. Other companies are similarly looking to enter the Kenyan market with mobile fintech products and solutions.
The recent launch of the fintech regulatory sandbox will no doubt help in checking their operations and ensure that customers are not subjected to exploitative measures especially the high interest rates that some of these services offer.