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Best Phone Loan Apps in Kenya

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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Phone loan apps have become essential tools in the financial landscape of Kenya, providing quick and convenient access to credit for millions of individuals. 

In a country where mobile technology has transformed the way people manage their finances, these apps offer a lifeline to those in need of immediate cash assistance. 

From covering unexpected expenses to investing in business ventures, phone loan apps have emerged as a reliable solution for bridging financial gaps with ease. 

In this article, we’ll be reviewing the best phone loan apps available in Kenya, highlighting some of their features and benefits 

What are Loan Apps in Kenya?

In Kenya, loan apps are mobile tools that let people borrow money straight from their phones. These apps make it easy to ask for a loan, get approved, and receive the money, all without going to a bank. You just fill in some personal info on the app, and it checks your credit to decide if you can borrow and how much.

Different apps offer different loan amounts, interest rates, and payback times to suit different needs.

These apps are handy because they offer things like flexible payback schedules, fast approvals, and sometimes you don’t even need to give anything as security to get a loan. They’re popular with folks who need money fast, like individuals or small businesses.

M-Pesa, run by Safaricom, was the first to do this in Kenya, and it’s a big deal. Other banks and financial companies have followed suit, making their own quick loan apps or teaming up with existing ones.

A study found that most Kenyans don’t save money for emergencies, so they turn to these loan apps when they need cash in a hurry.

Read also: Berry Loan App: How to get a Berry Loan

What is a Phone Loan app in Kenya?

A phone loan app in Kenya is a mobile application that allows users to borrow money directly from their smartphones. These apps typically offer quick and convenient access to small loans, which can be used for various purposes such as emergencies, bills, or purchases.

Users can apply for loans, receive funds directly into their mobile wallets or bank accounts, and repay the loan electronically through the app. These apps have gained popularity in Kenya due to their accessibility and ease of use, especially among individuals who may not have access to traditional banking services.

Read Also: M-shwari Soft Loan Requirements

What are the best Phone loan apps in Kenya?

Below are a list of some of  the best phone loan apps in Kenya and their publishers according to their ranking by similarweb

  • LOOP by NCBA Bank
  • Zenka Loan App Kenya by Zenka Digital Limited
  • Zash Loan by Zillions Credit Limited
  • LendPlus by AVENTUS TECHNOLOGY LIMITED
  • KeCredit by MYWAGEPAY LTD
  • M-PESA by Safaricom Limited
  • Equity Mobile by Equity Group
  • TruePesa by MYWAGEPAY LIMITED
  • Zuri Cash by Whitepath Company Limited
  • Branch by Branch International Financial Services Limited
  • FairKash+ MYWAGEPAY LIMITED
  • Creditmoja by Risine credit limited
  • Tala by Tala Mobile
  •  iPesa by Risine Credit Limited
  • SongaCash by Fezotech Kenya Limited
  • AsapKash – Reliable Loans by Asapkash
  • M-KOPA by M-KOPA Holdings Limited
  • DirectLoan by FEZOTECH KENYA LIMITED
  • TiFi Slice by RISINE CREDIT LIMITED
  • World App – Worldcoin Wallet by Worldcoin
  • Kashway  by Risine credit Limited
  • Pocket Broker  Pocket Investments LLC
  • InstarCash –  WHITEPATH COMPANY LIMITED
  • Chapaa Loan by Chapaa Loan
  • Kelp by Kelp Finance
  • Mojacredit-Easy get safe loan by Fezotech Mojacredit
  • Helacash by Fezotech Kenya Ltd
  • Kashbean by Creditarea Capital LTD
  • PayPal by PayPal Mobile
  • FlashPesa by Ambush Capital Ltd
  • MSTIMA by Stima Sacco DT
  • Knight Loan by Natal Tech Company LTD
  • KCB by KCB BANK GROUP
  • Binance: Buy Bitcoin & Crypto by Binance Inc.
  • Siyo cash loan app by Zamaradi Capital&Credit Group LIMITED
  • YesCash by Sure Cred Capital Limited
  • Wooden loan by ZAMARADI CAPITAL & CREDIT GROUP LTD
  • eCitizen – Gava Mkononi by eCitizen
  • Sky Pesa: Swift Cash Loans by Whitepath Company Limited
  • Timiza by Absa Group Limited.
  • CloudLoan by CREDITWATCH INVESTMENT LIMITED
  • ExpertOption – Mobile Trading by ExpertOption
  • Exness Trade: Online Trading by Exness Global Limited
  •  EasyKash Vip by EasyKash Vip
  • MetaTrader 5 by MetaQuotes Software Corp.
  • Mco-opCash 5.0 by Co-operative Bank of Kenya Ltd
  • Paidwork  by Paidwork
  • OKX: Buy Bitcoin BTC & Crypto by OKX
  • Calf for you by CALF FOR YOU DEV
  • Bitget Wallet, BitKeep Upgrade by Bitget Wallet

1. M-Shwari on M-Pesa

M-Pesa, through Safaricom, started its services in seven countries, including Kenya, in April 2020. 

M-Shwari is a banking service on the M-Pesa app offering savings and loans. You can borrow between Ksh. 1,000 to Ksh. 1 million if you’re a Safaricom customer.

The amount you get depends on your borrowing history. The interest rate is 9% annually, plus a one-time fee of 7.5% and an additional 1.5% excise duty.

For saving with M-Shwari, you earn interest rates of 3% for deposits up to Ksh. 20,000, 5% for deposits between Ksh. 20,000 and Ksh. 50,000, and 6% for deposits over Ksh. 50,000.

2. Fuliza on Safaricom M-Pesa App

M-Shwari loans offer both saving and borrowing options, unlike Fuliza, which is mainly for instant borrowing. 

With Fuliza, you have to repay within 30 days, plus interest and fees deducted from your M-Pesa account.

3. Tala: Quick Loans Without Credit Checks

Tala is a top loan app in Kenya that doesn’t rely on credit history. You can borrow up to Ksh. 50,000 once approved. Getting started is easy; download the app, sign up, and once approved, the money is sent to your M-Pesa account. Repayment can be done at once or in installments using M-Pesa Xpress or Pay bill.

4. Easy Loans with KCB M-Pesa

KCB M-Pesa is a top loan app in Kenya, easily accessible to registered M-Pesa users. You can borrow directly from your M-Pesa account without additional sign-ups. The money goes straight into your M-Pesa account, making it convenient. You can request loans multiple times a day within your limit.

5. Branch Loan App: Easy Borrowing and Saving

Branch loan app offers loans ranging from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 30,000 based on your phone usage data. It’s easy to get started, and besides loans, Branch offers savings plans with attractive interest rates.

6. Timiza: Instant Loans from Absa Bank

Timiza, from Absa Bank, allows instant borrowing, fund transfers, and insurance purchases via mobile phones. Even without the app, you can apply for loans by dialing *848#. Timiza offers loans up to Ksh. 150,000 with a monthly interest rate of 1.56% and a repayment period of 30 days.

7. Quick Loans with iPesa App

iPesa offers loans from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 50,000 without extra fees. You have 91 to 180 days to repay with interest rates ranging from 36% to 72% per year. It’s a fast option without CRB approval.

8. Zenka: Fast Loans with Flexibility

Zenka offers fast loans from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 20,000 with a one-time fee. If you repay on time, you can extend the repayment period up to 12 months. Your first loan is interest-free, and there are no service fees.

9. LendPlus: Personal Loans Made Easy

LendPlus offers personal loans from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 30,000 with a daily interest rate of 2%. The application process is straightforward, with no extra fees.

10. Zash Loan App: Reliable and Quick

Zash offers loans from Ksh. 500 to Ksh. 50,000 with a 1% daily interest rate. They use coupons to provide benefits and offer extensions without extra interest during grace periods.

11. Okash: Easy Loans with Fair Rates

Okash provides loans up to Ksh. 60,000 without collateral, with an annual interest rate of 14%. It’s a straightforward process; download the app, sign up, and borrow.

12. Vooma Loan: Quick Borrowing with KCB Bank

Vooma Loan from KCB Bank offers loans from Ksh. 1,001 to Ksh. 300,000, repayable within a day to a year. It’s convenient and quick for existing KCB Bank customers.

13. Hustler Fund: Accessible Loans for Entrepreneurs

Hustler Fund offers loans up to Ksh. 50,000, aiming to support entrepreneurship. It’s easy to apply through the app or USSD code, with guidance on business growth.

14. Opesa: Instant Loans with No Collateral

Opesa offers instant loans up to Ksh. 30,000 without collateral. It’s user-friendly and provides financial management tips.

15. Wezesha by Absa Bank: 

Wezesha offers unsecured business loans up to Ksh. 10 million, with quick disbursal and flexible repayment options.

16. NCBA Loop by NCBA Bank

NCBA Loop provides instant loans up to Ksh. 300,000 for NCBA Mobile Banking customers, accessible through self-service options.

Read also: Top 10 Loan Apps for Urgent Loans in Kenya

List of Approved Loan Apps in Kenya by CBK.

Recently, Google took down unauthorised loan apps in Kenya from its app store. This happened because of new rules set in January 2023, requiring digital lenders to have licences from the Central Bank of Kenya.

Out of 480 companies that applied, the Central Bank approved licences for 51 digital lending companies. They gave approval to the first ten apps in September 2022, then 12 more in January 2023, and another 10 in March 2023. In March 2024, they approved 19 more loan apps, bringing the total to 51.

The newly approved loan apps include names like Sokohela Limited, Tenakata Enterprises Limited, and Umoja Fanisi Limited, among others. The Central Bank is now asking the remaining lenders to submit their documents to get licensed.

Apps like OKash and MoKash were removed from the Play Store because they didn’t follow Google’s rules.

Read also: Zuri Loan: How to Apply

Things to have in mind when downloading a phone loan App in Kenya

Before you decide to use loan apps on your phone in Kenya, it’s crucial to be careful. There are dishonest people that hide under the facade of an app out there who pretend to be real lenders just to scam you out of your money.

Recently, there’s been an increase in these scam lenders who advertise a lot, especially on social media like Facebook and YouTube. They try hard to seem trustworthy, but don’t be fooled!

Here are three important things to watch out for when choosing a phone loan apps in Kenya:

  • No Website or FAQs:

Scam apps usually don’t have a proper website, and if they do, they won’t have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section. This is a big warning sign.

  • Upfront Fees:

If a lender asks you to pay a fee before they give you a loan, be cautious. They might just take your money and then say you don’t qualify for a loan. That’s trouble.

  • Poor Ratings:

Before you download any phone loan app, check its ratings on app stores. If it has less than 3.2 stars, it’s probably not good. Low ratings often mean bad lending practices, like charging really high interest or bothering borrowers’ families. Stay away from those apps!

Always read reviews from other customers before you download a loan app and start the application process. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Steps to take if you’ve been scammed

If you’ve been tricked by a fake loan app, act fast to limit the harm. Here’s what you can do:

1. Contact your mobile service provider and tell them about the scam. Ask them to stop any unauthorised transactions or messages from going through.

2. Report the scam to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) or the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). This helps to stop others from falling for the same trick.

3. Think about getting legal advice from a lawyer or a consumer protection agency. They can help you figure out how to get your money back or take legal action against the people behind the scam.

If you’ve already been scammed, you can also report the app on the CBK’s official website.

FAQs

Are phone loan apps safe to use?

Yes, phone loan apps prioritise security and privacy. They use encryption and security measures to protect personal and financial data.

Do I need a good credit score to qualify for a loan from these apps?

No, many apps use alternative data like phone usage and transactions to assess creditworthiness, enabling those with limited credit history to qualify.

How quickly can I receive funds after applying for a loan?

 Funds can be received within minutes of approval for smaller amounts, though larger loans may take longer to process.

What are the repayment terms for loans obtained through these apps?

Repayment terms vary, with some offering flexible schedules and others fixed terms like weekly or monthly instalments.

Are there alternatives to phone loan apps for accessing credit in Kenya?

Yes, alternatives include traditional banks, microfinance institutions, SACCOs, employer salary advance programs, and community lending networks.

Conclusion

Phone loan apps in Kenya have changed the way Kenyans access credit, offering quick, convenient, and accessible financial solutions to individuals across the country. Whether it’s M-Shwari’s seamless integration with M-Pesa, Branch’s user-friendly interface, Tala’s focus on financial inclusion, Saida’s emphasis on short-term lending, or Okash’s innovative lending platform, these apps cater to a diverse range of financial needs and preferences.

References

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Blessing Ukibe
Blessing Ukibe

Medical Student at Nnamdi Azikiwe University|Tech content expert at Silicon Africa Technology|Lover of fun books and fun fun ☺️

Articles: 90

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