Advances in financial technology have made it increasingly easy for users to get access to loans. The success of these services can be traced to the cumbersome nature of accessing bank loans, where users still continue to fill lots of paperwork prior to qualifying for an advance.
At the moment, loan apps have very much eliminated that pain, and in a market that pioneered the success of mobile money services, it makes sense why services such as Branch and Tala are so successful.
A few months ago, we highlighted the offerings of Alternative Circle’s similar product dubbed Shika. We were not sure how the service would position itself as a viable solution for a quick fix for a demographic that is ever in need of money.
Today, the field has been graced by another loan app referred to as OKash. The name is coined from its parent company, Opera, which opened a Kenyan office a few weeks ago. It is a standalone fintech-based app that is not embedded in Opera’s other services as it is the case with OPay that lives in Opera Mini as we discussed here and here.
Basically, users can get access to loans once the download and complete a lengthy signup process.
At the moment, only Safaricom’s M-PESA and Android phone users will use the service. Interest charges are ‘as low as’ 1 percent per day on a loan term that stretches on a maximum of 14 days. Similar to other loan apps, timely repayment increases loan amounts. Consistent users can access up to KES 500,000 at a total interest 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,” says Edward Ndichu, FinTech manager for Opera in Kenya.
Repayment will replicate what we have seen on Branch and Tala as OKash will push the M-PESA sim toolkit menu.
“People who use OKash can expect high-quality technology just like the Opera Group’s products,” he continued. “We are offering OKash users high privacy standards in each loan that they apply for as their personal information is highly protected.”
OKash is only available in Kenya for the moment.