We Need a Law to Regulate Mobile Loan Apps in Kenya, Says CBK Governor, Patrick Njoroge

Central Bank of Kenya, Governor, Patrick Njoroge
Central Bank of Kenya, Governor, Patrick Njoroge

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor, Patrick Njoroge, has expressed concerns over the high interest rates charged by mobile loan apps in Kenya and says they need to be regulated.

Speaking at a press conference, Njoroge said:

“The issue has been there for a while, they prey on individuals and you can’t blame people for taking the loans, maybe out of desperation. There has to be a law in place to regulate these apps but how or who regulates them is anyone’s guess.”

According to the governor, a total of 49 mobile loan apps are operational in Kenya. These services are popular both in urban and rural areas due to their accessibility, flexibility, and efficiency in granting loans.

Branch, one of the more popular mobile loan apps in Kenya, disburses up to Kshs. 50, 000 in loans via MPESA

Mobile loan apps have become quite popular in Kenya with a recent survey from Kenya credit bureaus revealing that over 19 million Kenyans (38%) are active mobile loan borrowers with 40 per cent of this number having loans from at least 6 out of 10 mobile money lending services.

There is no law or regulator in Kenya to manage mobile loan apps. It will interesting to see how CBK pushes for regulation in the space and whether the proposed law would touch on other mobile financial service offerings such as crypto.