Okolea, is a new digital lending app inspired by the increasing uptake of mobile-financial services in Kenya.
Okolea joins Tala, Branch, Shika, Okash and several others who want the share of Kenya’s over 30 million mobile subscribers. Peter Muraya, CEO Okolea says he is rolling out the app via a number of both online and offline channels to reach more users in Kenya and provide an alternative and affordable platform for customers.
“We want to make it easier and faster for the technology savvy and consumers who need emergency loans to access. It takes less than 10 minutes to register and receive the loan on the mobile phone,” Muraya said.
According to a report dubbed Digital Credit Revolution in Kenya, “Since the launch of M-Shwari in November 2012, the market for digital credit has expanded rapidly in Kenya. Digital credit is now offered by a number of Kenyan commercial banks (Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Bank, and Co-operative Bank, Barclays Bank), as well as a growing number of FinTechs and non-bank institutions.”
Okolea, which has been in existence for some months now is one of the fintechs offering digital credit and says it’s focus has been to SMEs. It uses mobile transaction data to score and deliver credit to customers just like Mshwari, KCB M-Pesa, Tala and Branch. M-PESA data helps them to score customers and manage loan disbursements and repayments.
Equity Bank, which was the first with M-Kesho recently launched Equitel which uses data from both credit bureaus and bank accounts to score customers.
Okolea International, launched in 2016 says it doesn’t discriminate someone regardless of their financial background or history on credit reference bureaus which lists customers and never update their database even when the customers pay the debts.
With over 90,000 customers, Okolea says it sees about 50,000 transactions a month with a repayment rate of 92 per cent. Okolea’s main competition is Tala, Branch, Saidia, KCB M-PESA, Mshwari, Okash, Haraka, Kopa Chapa, Pesa Pata and Pesa Na Pesa and several others operating quietly in the country.