Kenya’s reputation is gradually morphing into a borrowing nation owing to its high affinity for loans starting with the government’s six trillion foreign debt to the sudden upsurge of mobile credit lenders.
Be that as it may, loans procured for productivity purposes are a worthy investment in the long run compared to credit catered exclusively to expenditure.
In our daily activities, we may have sought for credit in some form or another. One such instance is in the telecommunications sector whereby according to a Q4 2018/19 statistics report by Communication Authority Of Kenya ( CAK ) , as at June 2019 , sim card penetration level stood at 109.2% following an increase in mobile sim subscriptions from 51 million to 52.2 million between March 2019 and June 2019.
In a bid to enhance customer experience, mobile network providers have adopted airtime lending facilities whereby subscribers can access airtime on credit and pay at a later date. Such services include Okoa Jahazi ( Safaricom ) , Okoa Credo ( Airtel ) and Pewa ( Telkom ).
However, borrowers have to submit to a 10% service fee which is deducted prior to the loan disbursement ( .i.e. if you borrow Ksh 50, Ksh 5 will be deducted as service fee and you will receive Ksh 45 but repayment will be Ksh 50 ).
This service fee at one point led to a Okoa Jahazi lawsuit which was later dismissed and subscribers have to bear the inconvenience of the service fees imposed on them.
Fortunately, a few opportunistic innovators have emerged with an app that offers a solution to the above and it can be downloaded HERE
1. Zero service fees– The app has no service/interest fees on airtime loans i.e if you borrow Ksh 100, you shall receive Ksh 100 and repay a similar amount.
2. Refundable M-PESA authentication fee ( Ksh 1 ) – This fee is to confirm that one is a registered user with a valid government document, has a good standing with M-PESA and can make transactions via its platform.
3. Multi-network credit access– One can borrow airtime across networks i.e you can access credit for Safaricom, Airtel or Telkom.
4. Multi-network airtime recharge– One can buy airtime across networks i.e you can buy credit for Safaricom, Airtel or Telkom.
5. Statement Reviews– One can access statements for transactions done via the app including repayments and purchases.
6. Limit increase– Borrowing limits increase with each airtime purchase i.e if you purchase Ksh 1000, your limit increases by Ksh 50 and it remains so indefinitely.
7. Passcode integration– In order to borrow or redeem airtime, one requires to input a passcode to avert unauthorized access.
8. Payment support– One can manually verify M-PESA transactions in case of system malfunctions.
9. Instant borrowing upon registration– One can borrow immediately and does not require any period of app usage before qualifying for an airtime loan.
10. M-PESA STK integration– This enables quick and simplified payment process via M-PESA.