We have talked about loan apps over an extended period.
These services, typically, are popular because they offer credit without any kind of collateral. But as it has since been established that the apps have something more than tangible security for their loans, and that is user private data, which, as we have also examined before, sees the companies abuse existing data laws in Kenya without any kind of consequence from the custodians of the law such as the office of the already established Data Commissioner.
Over the months, the apps have seen their popularity soar. A quick glance at the Google Play Store Top Charts segment paints a picture of a user base that are heavily dependent on these services that are presented as ‘fintech’ innovations rather than the true loan sharks that they are.
Sadly, out of the top 20 most downloaded apps in Kenya, 12 of them are loan apps, and that is without counting Safaricom apps (M-PESA and mySafaricom – which also have credit features from M-Shwari, Fuliza, and KCB M-PESA).
Note that these are apps that do not check if their customers have been listed by the CBK. All they need are numbers and will give you money, which, if you do not settle on time (usually in about 10 days with criminally high interest rates), will see you undergo mental torture such as constant reminders or even contacting your contact list.
Here is the full list:
|Air Credit||Loan||Tech Project|
|TikTok Lite||Video sharing||TikTok|
|Inua Funds||Loan||Mtaani Inc.|
|CashNow||Loan||Pay loan Investment|
The top two apps are deservedly leading because Safaricom has been honing them over a long time, effectively making them one of the must-have apps. The M-PESA app, for instance, has only been around for about 7 months, yet it has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times, with a possibility of beating that value in the coming days.
On the other hand, the loan apps are a Kenyan thing because of M-PESA that allows customers receive their funds as soon as they have made an application.
Of course, this means that locals do not have money, and the collateral needed by traditional lending institutions is out of reach for many.
Also, notice that the list does not have established social media apps such as Facebook apps and Twitter?