Millions of people who were previously excluded from now have access to micro credit via smartphone apps.
Owning a smartphone has changed Phylista Wambua’s life. The 50-year-old mother-of-two sells fresh fruits and vegetables in downtown Nairobi. With her phone she can access mobile loans via smartphone apps, which have significantly increased her income.
“In January last year, I used to make just 800 [Kenyan] shillings a day (US$8),” Phylista tells Equal Times. “It was hardly enough to buy additional stock, never mind feed and educate my two children.”
Phylista doesn’t have a stable income so she couldn’t apply for a traditional loan from a bank, and she didn’t want to be trapped paying the extortionate interest rates charged by neighbourhood loan sharks. So when a friend told her about the micro credit offered by mobile banking apps, she knew she had nothing to lose.
“The first time I did it I took out a loan of 1,000 shillings (US$10),” she says. These days, she uses several loan apps, which charge an average interest rate of 15 per cent.
“This year alone, I have received about 50,000 shillings (US$500) from mobile loan providers,” she says, which has enabled her to buy more stock and a greater variety of produce. “I make good money, especially on kale. On a good day I now make about 4,000 shillings (US$40) if I can sell all my stock." Creating over a million new jobs
Unsecured mobile loans are helping to boost millions of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) […]