Kenya Study Finds Men Are More ‘Unfair’ To Digital Lenders Than Women

Nairobi – A new report from ReelAnalytics has found that men are experimenting with multiple digital credit providers compared to women who are seen as more loyal to a single brand.

The survey, which was carried out among 1,000 Kenyans in eight counties, further revealed that women are more concerned about defaults and their consequences than men.

Fifty-nine percent of the respondents were men compared to women who ranked at 49 percent.

As of February 2021, fourteen million Kenyans were listed on Reference Credit Bureaus (CRBs), highlighting the difficulty Kenyans have in repaying at a time when the majority had lost their sources of income as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the data, the majority of male and female borrowers are in the 30-34 age bracket, at 59% and 49% respectively.

“The use of digital credit is highest among Kenyans employed in the informal sector; this is mainly attributed to the money back guarantee based on a regular monthly salary, ”the data reveals.

The survey further showed that people residing in the cities of Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru have the highest use of digital lending platforms with 64%, 59% and 57% respectively.

According to data, Safaricom’s overdraft facility, Fuliza was ranked as the most underwritten at 55%.

This follows new data showing that the amount of cash paid to Fuliza to Kenyans reached 220.38 billion shillings in the six months to June, marking a 25% jump from 176 billion shillings in the during a similar period last year.

M-Shwari is also the most popular among the top five digital lending platforms, influenced by its connection to the country’s leading mobile service provider (Safaricom) with a score of 40%, followed by Tala (36%), Fuliza (30 %) Branch (23 percent) and KCB-Mpesa at (22) percent.

Digital platforms remained at the top of their list of priority credit sources to finance small business growth.

“In the absence of digital lending platforms, most Kenyans would seek loans for growing their business from sources such as close family members,” the report reads.

Borrowing from family circles was seen as less convenient because loan accessibility is generally unpredictable and amounts are lower than from official sources like digital lenders.

The increase in borrowing on digital loans indicates an increased appetite for household loans to support themselves on restricted income.

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