Disruptive innovation is transforming Africa’s economic potential, creating new target markets and unprecedented consumer choice

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Eddie Ndichu, MD, Okash Kenya

Technological disruption is transforming markets and societies across Africa in ways that wouldn’t have been possible even ten years ago. In Kenya, FinTech is contributing to creating a more inclusive financing ecosystem, increasing the availability of credit and methods of payments.

In the following interview with StartUp Magazine, Eddie Ndichu, the MD of Okash in Kenya talks how the disruptive FinTech and how it is providing opportunities for those who are financially excluded to utilize financial products and services like never before.

What does Okash do?

OKash is a mobile app that provides users with short-term loans when they need them.

Tell us about Okash initial objective?

Our goal is to satisfy the economic needs of people who want to access credit/loans for their everyday expenses with a fast and secure app that is easy to set up in their mobile phones.

How has been the experience since starting out?

The reception of OKash in Kenya has been successful. Since its launch in March 2018, we have built a user base of half a million people in the country, which keeps growing every day. We have loaned out money to over 100K people with a value of KES 300M with most people borrowing at a speed of 14/15 times a month.

Whom do you target with your services?

We are making it possible for individuals who dream to start small businesses and just need just a little enough capital to start up. We are also making everyday life expenses easier for people who need money for their day to day needs but are not able to meet them at that particular time OKash steps in to help them solve their challenges.

Why should customers use your Okash?

Okash guarantees loans with the lowest interest rate in the market of 1 percent per day. It also is the most secure loan app in Kenya as it features a new face recognition system, which reduces the chances of identity theft.

How have you leveraged on Africa’s mobile penetration and digital inclusion at Okash?

Mobile Penetration has enabled OKash in contributing to create a more inclusive financing ecosystem in Kenya, particularly in regard to increasing the availability of credit and methods of payments.

FinTechs are providing opportunities for those who are financially excluded to utilise financial products and services like never before.

What are the emerging trends in this space and their impacts on your operations?

Over 85 percent of the adult population in Kenya utilise mobile financial services such as M-Pesa to regularly pay for products and amenities, such as household bills or school fees. The acceptance of digital payments and mobile money has impacted our operations and challenged us to innovate products that are interlinked with their day to day trends and activities.

Have you faced challenges? Possible interventions?

As any other company, we have faced multiple challenges, which we have also seen as opportunities. Kenya is a fast moving economy and it is probably the pioneer in mobile banking in the world. Even Though there is a continuous demand of more FinTech services, we keep ourselves on top of the game to offer the best product through our technology.

Any future prospects?

We are looking into venturing purpose lending. We are currently building lending products that are attached to daily purposes, like health products, energy and agriculture. We are exploring innovative ways of providing high-end technology products to the end users.

Other pertinent issues?    

The predominant growth barriers facing FinTech enterprises are insufficient access to data and information; regulatory challenges; a lack of credit and investment; and the size and maturity of the Kenyan market.

 

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