Market News

Mauritius mobile lender targets local gadget buyers with Sh9bn

A man using his mobile phone. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A man using his mobile phone. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Publicly listed Mauritian financial technology firm Cim Finance has launched operations in Kenya with a Sh9 billion investment in mobile-based lending for household goods.

Its facility targeting middle-income earners is for purchase of lifestyle gadgets and household items from participating stores.

Managing director Yoeal Haile said loans accessed via the mobile phone app ‘Aspira’ will attract a four per cent interest monthly for first-time customers, with a reduction of 0.5 per cent every time a client who has fully cleared the initial loan applies afresh.

“Our two-year feasibility study in Kenya and four other African countries indicates a dire need for credit for people earning between Sh50,000 to Sh350,000 to acquire lifestyle gadgets such as classic furniture, laptops, electronic items as well as household appliances,” he said.

The app available on IOS and Android mobile platforms will allow users to apply for credit, get instant credit information, retailer information, loan status, payment updates amongst others.

Loan applicants will be expected to submit personal information, name, date of birth, current work status, income as well as the latest bank statements, pay-slip and M-Pesa statements before being considered for a loan.

“Once we agree on the mode of repayment, customers will get an instant decision and credit limit. The successful loan applicant will visit their retailer of choice and pay a minimum deposit of 30 per cent with Cim Finance topping up the rest directly to the retailer,” he said.

The firm has since signed partnership agreements with Hotpoint Appliances, Jumia, Elite Digital, Nikon, Nairobi Sports House, Victoria Courts, Grantech, Sight and sound, Swavorski, Genteel and Textbook Centre.

At a launch ceremony in Nairobi, Hotpoint Appliances director Keval Kanani welcomed the development saying affordable finance was key to driving sales.

“To encourage responsible borrowing, subscribers can only take financing for one product at a time. The benefit is that for the next purchase they will not be required to pay a deposit and will enjoy a lower interest rate and higher credit limit,” said Mr Haile.