Kenya’s most active economic sector is the informal sector, with agriculture contributing the most to the country’s GDP. The bulk of this agriculture is practiced by small holder farmers. Yet, the traditional banking institution has neglected this market, and decided to play safe by catering mostly to the white collar job individuals who come with the security of a monthly pay check.
Well, that business model has been the folly of conventional banks, and it is the reason mobile money and FinTech solutions like M-Pesa became so big in Kenya. Turning the country into a market leader worldwide when it comes to adoption and use of digital payment solutions borne out of mobile money and FinTech solutions.
It for that reason Opera decided to launch its digital wallet Opay, in Kenya. To entice people to adopt it, Opay is enticing Kenyans with paperless loan application and no need for applying for security.
With traditional banks, the bottle-neck process of filling out papers, need for security at the onset, and waiting time for loan approval seek find many people unfit for credit. However, FinTech solution run on artificial intelligence system, which can be able to tell on the riskiness of the applicant, and thus those who show good prospects of meeting the loan repayment are given credit fast and with no need for security.
Opay is one of the many FinTech solutions advancing loans to Kenyans under such arrangement. Opay is a digital wallet, where users can deposit money and use the balance to make payments cheaply and fast online. Opay also has a separate platform for advancing loans dubbed OKash.
Once a user downloads OKash, they go on to filling a one-time lengthy registration form and immediately become eligible to receive a small loan with interest payment of 1% per day for a maximum of 14 days.
Borrowers who make timely repayment of the loans will continue increasing their loan limit amount up to a maximum of Ksh. 500,000 with a total interest rate of 5%.
“We know that there are more than 20 million people in Kenya who use loans actively every day, and we want to give them a high-end product with an exceptional user experience to make their life more comfortable when applying for and making payments with loans,” said Edward Ndichu, the FinTech manager of Opera Kenya.
“People who use OKash can expect high-quality technology just like the Opera Group’s products. We are offering OKash users high privacy standards in each loan that they apply for as their personal information is highly protected.”
Opera’s OKash is currently only available in Kenya, with plans to roll out to the rest of Africa underway. The service is also only accessible to mobile subscribers using the Safaricom network (so they can send/receive their OKash money through M-Pesa) and Android devices users.