Kenya has received world-wide recognition as leader in financial innovation. This is a laudable achievement because finance holds the potential to unlock solutions to the real-world problems that Kenyans face in their daily lives.
The focus on the potential and real risks of digital credit, while commendable, runs the risk of taking our collective eye off the wider credit market, which has a much more significant impact on Kenya’s economy.
In the past five years, digital loans have transformed the market for credit in Kenya. For millions of adults, the possibility of borrowing from their phones has opened the door to private, formal consumer credit for the first time.
In countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, India, and Mexico, there is momentum to increase consumers’ ability to access, manage, and control their digital identity and history.
Five years after Kenya launched the world’s first digital credit solution, the market for digital credit has expanded rapidly in Kenya and many low-income countries. But exactly how big is the market? Who’s using digital credit? And what impact is it having on low-income customers?
In an effort to understand the real needs of the people, our seventh ‘Field Friday’ exercise took us to Karagita in Naivasha. We set out to gather insights on which financial services people use and which ones they trust most.