The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has announced that it has licensed 10 digital loan companies in Kenya as part of its plan to regulate the sector. The digital loan companies, otherwise known as Digital Credit Providers (DCPs), were to apply for a license by September 17 2022.

CBK announced in March that it had given the digital lending companies 6 months to apply for licenses. Failure to apply for or get the said licenses means that the companies can’t legally operate.

288 applications were received over a period of six months but only 10 have been successful “So far, 10 applicants have been licensed as DCPs, pursuant to the CBK Act and the Regulations.” A statement from the Central Bank says, “Other applicants are at different stages in the process, largely awaiting the submission of requisite documentation. We urge these applicants to submit the pending document expeditiously to enable completion of the review of their applications.”

It would be nice for CBK to share the list of requirements given that, as it stands, many existing digital lending companies are now unlicensed. These include popular digital lending platforms such as Tala, Branch, Haraka and Okash.

Here is the list of digital lending companies that are authorized to operate in Kenya.

  1. Ceres Tech Limited
  2. Getcash Capital Limited
  3. Giando Africa Limited (trading as Flash Credit Africa)
  4. Jijenge Credit Limited
  5. Kweli Smart Solutions Limited
  6. Mwanzo Credit Limited
  7. MyWagepay Limited
  8. Sevi Innovation Limited
  9. Rewot Civo Limited
  10. Sokohela Limited

It is important to note that the CBK announcement only covers the unregulated digital lending platforms. Digital lending platforms that are owned by already regulated companies such as Telcos and banks were not covered in this new licensing. These ones will continue to operate as normal and they will not need a separate license. These include; Timiza, M-Shwari, Fuliza, KCB M-PESA,