Number of mobile loan providers in Kenya rises to 32 as CBK licenses 10 more DCPs




The financial services regulator, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), has announced the licensing of additional 10 Digital Credit Providers (DCPs) or mobile loan service providers. The latest development, done in accordance with Section 59(2) of the Central Bank of Kenya Act (CBK Act), now brings the number of licensed DCPs to 32 following the licensing of 22 DCPs announced in January 2023.

“CBK has received 401 applications since March 2022 and has worked closely with the applicants in reviewing their applications. Additionally, CBK has engaged other regulators and agencies pertinent to the licensing process, including the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner,” stated the CBK in a media release published o March 27, 2023.

“The focus of the engagements has been inter alia on business models, consumer protection and fitness and propriety of proposed shareholders, directors, and
management. This is to ensure adherence to the relevant laws and importantly that the interests of customers are safeguarded. We acknowledge the efforts of the applicants and the support of other regulators and agencies in this process.”

Other applications presented to the CBK for consideration and licensing are currently at different stages in the process, largely awaiting the submission of requisite documentation, with the CBK urging the applicants to “submit the pending documentation expeditiously to enable completion of the review of their applications.”

The licensing and oversight of DCPs as indicated previously, was precipitated by concerns raised by the public about the predatory practices of the unregulated DCPs, and in particular, their high cost, unethical debt collection practices, and the abuse of personal information.

In January, the CBK licensed 12 Digital Credit Providers (DCPs), pushing the number of licensees to 22 following the licensing of 10 mobile loan service providers in September 2022. By then, CBK had received 381 applications since March 2022 and later worked closely with the applicants in reviewing their applications. Additionally, CBK engaged other regulators and agencies pertinent to the licensing process, including the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner.

The focus of the engagements has been various issues including business models, consumer protection and fitness and propriety of proposed shareholders, directors, and management. “This is to ensure adherence to the relevant laws and importantly that the interests of customers are safeguarded. We acknowledge the efforts of the applicants and the support of other regulators and agencies in this process,” stated the CBK.

The list of the 32 licensed DCPs can be accessed below:

 

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