A couple of weeks ago, the Central Bank of Kenya launched a mobile-based credit product that is under the management of five banks: CBA, KCB, DTB, Cooperative and NIC Group. Dubbed Stawi, the loan app is rallied as a credit solution for small businesses that have, for a long time, lacked access to funds especially from traditional banks.
It is also worth noting that the product, which was hinted by President Kenyatta in a parliament session a few months ago, is on a pilot phase during which it will offer loans to 3500 businesses. The second phase aims to serve more than 10,000 small-scale traders.
Stawi can now be accessed via a smartphone application for Android users. The application was uploaded in the Play Store earlier this week, and going by the comments it has since amassed, it appears to be serving customers well.
The app is developed by CAB, which also happens to be overseeing the operations of Stawi.
As a recap, users need to be aware of what Stawi loans have in place for their businesses. During its launch, the product was sold as the only service that charges the lowest interest at 9 percent p.a., but that is not the full story. There is a 4 percent facility fee, a 0.7 percent insurance fee that is based on the disbursed amount, as well as excise duty that is 20 percent of the facility fee.
Payments are done over a 12-month period. You will be listed by CRB for delayed payments.
Also, and similar to other fintech apps, Stawi is equipped with an e-wallet that can be used to complete payments or send cash to other e-wallets such as M-PESA.
Lastly, businesses interested in the product can register with Stawi agents.