As a vote of confidence into Kenya’s maturing economy, TransUnion has launched a mobile credit score card for the Kenyan consumers. Yes, it had to be rolled out on mobile first, given Kenya is a world leader when it comes to mobile money payments, which has since morphed to see the birth of mobile-based lending platforms.
Thanks to the widespread adoption of mobile money, lenders looking to reach the masses are shying away from conventional platforms such as bank accounts to using mobile money wallets such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money.
However, such lenders face a big risk especially when they are just new in the market and have no history on the consumers coming to look for a loan. TransUnion is targeting such lenders with rich-data on the individual consumer sourced from both conventional money-lending platforms such as banks, and across other mobile money platforms.
The mobile credit score will provide lenders a comprehensive risk view of the loans they give via the mobile money platforms. At the same time, TransUnion will spark an interest among Kenyan consumers to become active in the economics dynamics of the day and be aware of the consequences of paying loans and utility bills on time; and consequence of paying late, or never paying at all.
The mobile credit score will also give consumers to high score more leverage in terms of their loan requests getting accepted fast, their interest rates lowered, and legibility to higher loan amounts.
CEO of TransUnion Kenya, Billy Owino, said, “Today, Kenyans perform more transactions on mobile platforms than they do inside banks. Transacting with conventional banks can be difficult, as many banks require documentation such as pay slips and credit history, in order to apply for credit or transactional accounts. The younger generation in Kenya is also not as willing to spend time queuing in banks for services, especially when they can simply turn to their mobile devices.”
The TransUnion Mobile Score Card database will continually learn about every individual credit consumer based on their mobile money wallet transactional history. This database will then provide the lenders a customizable and reliable view of the risk each consumer presents.
“It’s clear that those financial players that are able to meet the needs of their customers on the platform of their choosing, by offering real-time loans based on accurate risk views, will be the ones that find the opportunity for increased growth in times of change,” Owino added.