Mobile loan service Tala celebrates 5 years of existence

Tala Regional Country Growth Manager Ivan Mbowa and Tala's East African Marketing Director Kevin Kaburu

Mobile loan service Tala has celebrated 5 years of existence having first launched in the Kenyan market in 2014.

The loan service was initially known as Mkopo Rahisi before rebranding to Tala in 2016. The service was first launched in Kenya in 2014. It is a product of Inventure which was founded by Shivani Siroya who is also the current CEO.

The service used to give loans to customers of upto Ksh. 10,000 (USD 100) in Kenya but it was increased to  Ksh. 50,000 (USD 500). The loans are available through an Android app and then disbursed via Safaricom M-Pesa.

The company now operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Philippines, India, and Mexico and has plans to  expand to several other countries in the next five years. It has disbursed loans to over 2.5 million customers. Tala is backed by leading venture and impact investors including PayPal, Revolution Growth, IVP, and Lowercase Capital. Tala is headquartered in Santa Monica with additional offices in Nairobi, Manila, Dar Es Salaam, Mexico City, and Bangalore.

To get a loan from the service, all you have to do is to download the Tala app on an Android phone you own. Only one Tala account can be associated with any Android phone. Afterwards you need to create an account and answers a few questions that will determine whether you can qualify for a loan or not. The service does further risk analysis by checking your M-Pesa transaction history.

If you qualify to get the loan, you can choose to repay in two installments within a month or the full amount at the end of the month. Once your loan has been approved it is sent to your Safaricom number via M-PESA. Loan repayments are also done via Safaricom M-PESA (Paybill number 851900).

One you repay a loan on time, your loan limit increases. There are three loan tiers on Tala:

  • Bronze: Ksh. 500 – Ksh. 4,999
  • Silver – Ksh. 5,000 – Ksh. 9,999
  • Gold – Ksh. 10,000 – Ksh. 50,000

The Tala interest rate is between 11% & 15% which is high when compared to its competitors

  • Branch – 8.4%
  • M-Shwari – 7.5%
  • KCB MPESA – 4-6% per month
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