Digital Lending Apps Are Coming Under Scrutiny in East Africa for Predatory Practices
By Abdi Latif Dahir
The uptake of digital lending has been on the rise across Kenya, boosted by growing smartphone adoption and the availability of mobile money transfer systems like M-Pesa. With quick application turnaround, digital credit has helped borrowers pay for basic necessities like food and rent and access working capital for their enterprises.
Yet increasingly, digital lending in Kenya—and across East Africa—has come under scrutiny, criticized as a “catastrophic” industry that’s pushing tens of thousands of users into debt, while commodifying their data and gaining profits from their woes.
Photo courtesy of Neil Palmer.