The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has approved 10 Digital Credit Providers (DCPs) out of the 288 applications it received since March.
This is after it had earlier announced that all unregulated DCPs need to apply for a license by September 17, 2022.
The licensing comes as the CBK intensifies its enforcement of laws against the misuse of individuals’ private information, unethical debt collection practices, and exorbitant interest rates charged for credit facilities made available through digital platforms like mobile phones and mobile money accounts.
While many lending businesses operate via mobile apps, mobile money, or USSD platforms and are therefore practical, there have been worries that the technology may also be exploited to violate user data privacy.
The central bank announced that digital lenders must now disclose the source of their funds and that digital credit organizations without licenses are not permitted to provide digital credit services in the East African countries.
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“CBK has received 288 applications since March 2022 and has worked closely with the applicants over the last six months in reviewing their applications. So far, 10 applicants have been licensed as Digital Credit Providers (DCPs) pursuant to the CBK Act,” reads part of the CBK statement posted on Twitter.
The ten approved digital credit providers include Get cash Capital, Ceres Tech Limited, Jijenge Credit, Kweli Smart Solutions, Giando Africa Limited, Mwanzo Credit, Mywagepay, Rewot Ciro, Sevi Innovation, and Sokohela Limited.
“The licensing and oversight of digital credit providers were precipitated by concerns raised by the public about the predatory practices of unregulated DCPs and in particular their high cost, unethical practices, and the abuse of personal information,” the bank stated.
The CBK also mentioned that other applicants were at various stages of the application process and that the bank was still awaiting the delivery of necessary paperwork.
It also urged applicants to submit the pending documentation to enable the completion of the review of their applications. It further warned all other unregulated DCPs that did not apply for licensing that they must cease and desist from conducting digital credit business.