Kenya Bankers Association, KBA, has launched a mobile app and web portal that will assist commercial banks in disclosing the cost of credit to loan applicants as a percentage or APR (Annual Percentage Rate).
The web portal, dubbed Credit Calculator Online, was developed by KBA together with the APR pricing mechanism and the industry’s implementation of the Kenya Banks’ Reference Rate (KBRR).
The mobile app and website also feature tools that borrowers can use when taking a loan, including a comprehensive calculator and a fast APR estimate that captures every cost associated with a loan facility. The app can be downloaded from Google Play or Costofcredit.co.ke.
During the launch, Joshua Oigara, KBA Chairman, said it is expected that APR and KBRR will improve pricing transparency as they stimulate competition within the banking sector. He added that promoting transparency during lending remains a priority for the banks and financial services sector and are thankful to their stakeholders, including the National Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya, for their collaboration in the quest to improve access to credit through enabling and progressive policies.
APR consists of an interest rate component that is deduced from KBRR and individual banks’ administrative costs, a risk premium, the banks’ profit margin and product related fees in addition to related third party costs.
According to Oigara, APR and KBRR are only two of the long-term and interim interventions by the players to improve credit access. Away from interest rates, there are additional costs that influence access to credit and via the Cost of Credit Committee the regulators, Government and industry have named priority initiatives to address these inefficiencies.
“With the initiatives that will be managed by the Cost of Credit Committee, I completely think that as a country we will finally have a more efficient credit system as well as an improved access to credit,” Oigara noted.
Habil Olaka, the CEO of KBA, said the industry-led APR implementation is a consumer protection program that highlights the banks’ commitment to giving customers the facts necessary for making informed credit decisions.
KBA collaborated with Farwell Consultants to develop the “Credit Calculator Online” website, which currently provides critical information on the industry’s new pricing regime.