Consumer Finance Firm, afb Promises Credit Revolution in Kenya

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Headquartered in Mauritius, afb has invested Kshs 250 million capital in their new Nairobi offices. The company already has operations in Lusaka, Accra and Cape town. afb views Nairobi as the financial heart of the East Africa region. This has led the company to use it as a launching pad to revolutionize credit access in East Africa. afb has been partnering with key retail outlets in a bid to woo consumers from traditional cash payments to non-cash payment systems.

afb’s Chief Executive Officer Karl Westvig
afb’s Chief Executive Officer Karl Westvig

afb has unveiled a retail credit card aimed at empowering average Kenyans to improve their lifestyles. The company already aims at getting 100,000 subscriptions by the end of this year. Customers will be allowed to spread the cost of their purchase across a period of 6 months. This makes it affordable to buy products that would otherwise be out of the customer’s reach. The afb card is available for any person aged 18 years or older. A few other requirements are that, you should earn a monthly salary, have a valid identity document, have employment details (if self-employed, provide last 3 months bank statements), and have your income and expense details available. A list of merchants accepting the card can be found here.

“Our unsecured revolving credit products offer our Kenyan customers a convenient and flexible way to get instant access to the credit they need when they want it. Traditional banks do not cater for the mass market and at afb we make affordable credit available to consumers in a responsible way,” said  afb’s CEO Karl Westvig.

“We have been piloting in the Kenyan market for the past six months and the uptake has been very encouraging in terms of the level of individual subscriptions and signing of retail partnerships. We expect to build a Debtors book of between USD17m and USD20m in the first year of operation, which will be financed through a combination of equity and debt. We hope to source the majority of this debt over time through the local Kenyan market.”

According to Karl Westvig, Kenya has a well-developed financial and retail infrastructure, this makes it easier for the company to make gateways into the wider East African region. The region has been experiencing rapid growth in income levels, infrastructure and human capital. This is a great incentive to organizations targeting the consumer market in East Africa.

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