The Digital Lenders Association of Kenya (DLAK) has taken note with great concern the continued reports circulating on social media about two non-member digital lenders: Opesa and Okash’s poor debt-shaming practices of debt collection whereby they reach out to contacts on the customer’s phone book to try and get them to pay back a loan.
All DLAK members; Tala, Alternative Circle, Stawika Capital, Zenka Finance, MyCredit, Okolea, LPesa, Kopacent, Four Kings Investment T/A Sotiwa, Mobile Financial Solutions (MFS), Kuwazo Capital, Finance Plan Ltd, Branch, VAELL Leasing, Roamtech solutions, Aspira, Mobfin, Fiberry and Pesa zone, condemn this illegal and morally questionable behaviour and urges Okash and Opesa to cease such practices. DLAK also extends an offer to advise any non-members seeking to improve their debt collections approach towards more ethical business practices.
“Not only does this behaviour go against Kenyan data protection laws, but it reeks of indignity. By reaching out to a customer’s contact list, Opesa and Okash rob the individual of basic dignity and consumer rights. This can have long term effects on their psychological well-being and damage relations that may have taken years to build” said DLAK Chairman Robert Masinde on behalf of all members.
DLAK members subscribe to a code of conduct that seeks to drive ethical business practices and broadly addresses emerging consumer protection issues.
When taking action against a Consumer whose claims are in a debt collection procedure or in court proceedings, it must be ensured that the actions taken against the debtor meet ethical standards and are aimed at cooperation and an amicable solution to the problem of non-repayment
The members are also forbidden to undertake debt collection activities that may conflict with the principles of this Code. In this regard, the DLIs will make every effort to ensure that the principles of this Code regarding the rules of conduct in relation to Consumers in a difficult financial situation are applied by debt collection companies with which the DLI cooperates
Additionally, all DLAK members are obliged to thoroughly examine consumer complaints and respond to complaints without undue delay, keeping statutory deadlines, including in particular to investigate possible notices regarding fraud when concluding digital loan agreements.
“We will continue to uphold the measures in our code of conduct and wish to remind all customers affiliated with DKAK members of our commitment to continue to serve them with respect, as we greatly value the trust that they have bestowed upon us,” Said Masinde.