Besides anyone asking for your academic credentials these days, the credit score is slowly defining a citizen’s worth in every aspect of life, beginning with the simplest loans you can get; Okoa Jahazi, Mshwari, M-Fanisi, Tala, Branch and all these companies joining the mobile money loan grid pretending to benefit the common mwananchi. Well, I am not entirely rebuking the unfair conditions Kenyans have to go through…at least not for now.
I remember, back in the day, for an individual to qualify for a loan, they almost had to show up at the bank with all the property they own, just to assure the financial institution they wouldn’t flee with their money. It is called collateral.
Nowadays, loans are based on simple things like trust and history, if your account receives amounts that pronounce adequacy, then you are eligible to higher amounts of loan. If you do not pay your debt in time, then you are not trusted to hold a relationship with the mobile facility, and so you are blacklisted or banned.
Until Safaricom’s Okoa Jahaz,i M-Shwari and finally Fuliza… (Among many) happened, banks were not scampering for clients like they do now. You walk into a bank today, and they serve you all these things you did not ask for including weird biscuits and warm beverages. (Mind you, this is not a campaign for Fuliza, I just need to look at the reality of loans today.)
Bank overdraft services have for a long time been a privilege of the rich and well connected. This leaves a majority of underprivileged Kenyans without access to emergency credit. Fuliza however, is that partner that comes with conditions that seem a bit hard but hackable.