6 Mobile Loan Apps

Mobile loan apps have transformed the lending landscape in Kenya. Banks have had a strangle hold on the industry for quite a while and have managed to lock out many Kenyans working in the informal sector. Mobile loan apps have managed to disrupt this status quo and provide alternatives to the masses. Some banks have had to join the band wagon as they try to salvage whatever is left of the large untapped informal sector. I have outlined a few of the industry players below that I have interacted with:


This app is the go to mobile loan app for most Kenyans. This can be in part to its aggressive  marketing campaign and also more to do with it being one of the early market entrants.  It was founded in 2015 and is currently the most downloaded loan mobile app in Kenya. They offer loans from  Ksh 250 up to Ksh 70,000. Some of its key features are quick approval of less than 24 hours and no rollover or late fee charges. Monthly interest is between 1% and 14%. Branch has a presence in three other countries: Tanzania, Nigeria and Mexico


Tala was the first instant mobile loan app in Kenya (as far as I can recall) way back in 2014. Back then it was known as Mkopo Rahisi before they renamed and rebranded. It has established itself as one of the most trusted loan mobile app in Kenya and claim to disburse loans in the shortest time possible, less than 10 minutes. They have a loan limit of Ksh 50,000 and is the second  most downloaded loan app google platy store in Kenya. Interest varies depending on your credit score but is on average 15%. Tala is currently present in three other countries: Tanzania, Philipines and Mexico.


KCB Mpesa is a “lucrative” partnership between the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Safaricom. The loan platform started off as a savings account but quickly morphed into a loan app after seeing the potential of the then untapped mobile loan market. The minimum loan disbursement is Ksh 50 and the highest is Ksh 1,000,000. Interest is between 2% and 6% depending on the repayment duration.


Mshawari is another bank and telecom partnership. In this case, it is between Commercial bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom. It was founded in 2012 and has been an active player in the mobile loan app business ever since. The minimum loan amount that can be borrowed is Ksh 100 and the maximum loan limit depends on your account standing. Mshwari loans usually have a repayment duration of 30 days and attract an interest rate of up to 7.5% per anum. It is important to note that Mshwari is one of the best mobile loan solutions that is easy to get with minimum requirements since it is incorporated in the Safaricom Mpesa menu.


Okolea is one of the smaller mobile loan apps in the market and also one of the late entrants. According to their website, it has over 150,000 registered users with 650 new daily registrations. They offer loans from as little as Ksh 100 to Ksh 100,000and they charge an interest of between 5% and 15%.


Haraka is a division of South African lender Getbucks. It has one  of the smallest loan limits in this list, between Ksh 500 and Ksh 5000. I find it unique in that you are required to register via your Facebook account upon downloading the app. Haraka also has one of the highest interest rates in this list, they charge up to 23% as interest. This means that a loan of 1000/= will attract an interest of 230/= in one month and the repayment amount will be 1230/= The mobile loan app has a presence in five other countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and South Africa.

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