New rules for digital lenders in Kenya aim to weed out bad actors while bolstering sector growth

Fresh regulations are often met with skepticism from startup founders, but digital lenders in Kenya largely seem to be upbeat about the new Digital Credit Providers law, saying it will bring order to the sector.

The chairman of the Digital Lenders Association of Kenya, Kevin Mutiso, sounded optimistic about the impending new regulatory environment, saying that it had already fostered investor confidence and will bolster growth in the sector.

“The regulations have encouraged investors to come into our market, and I’m already aware of five new big players that have come in because of the new regulatory field. We are looking forward to being regulated and having a fair playing field,” Mutiso told TechCrunch.

Mutiso added that the association’s 16 members — including the market-dominant Tala and Zenka — are awaiting the required licenses to be fully compliant.

The regulations, set to come into effect on September 18, give Kenya’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Kenya, the requisite authority to police digital mobile lenders that have flooded the local market in the last few years.