Mobile technology enabling financial access to millions
Africa is the fastest-growing mobile financial market in the world. While traditional banking services may be out of reach for many Africans because of the low density of bank branches or ATMs, mobile phones are providing hundreds of millions of Africans access to financial services.
At the same time, Africa’s young population that is about to double within the next 25 years is adopting mobile financial services faster than anyone else in the world.
No wonder that the emerging African economies lure fintech companies to investigate the endless opportunities of the second biggest continent, as the best moment to invest in Africa is now.
Zenka Finance, a mobile lending fintech company with origins from Poland, has been successfully trying to make its mark in Africa.
Zenka started its operations in Kenya in December 2018, targeting small business owners and consumers by offering micro mobile loans from $5 to $200.
The FinAccess survey of 2018 indicates that the highest number of digital loans are used for business needs. Given the value and tenors of the loans, the benefits of digital credit are most suited to the micro and small businesses who are otherwise unable to access credit from other sources.
Zenka has identified this need and gone out of its way to design and deliver a service that meets the requirements of this market segment.
First and foremost – Zenka’s loan products are fully flexible and scalable (which definitely is not the market standard), and the client decides on the payment period ranging from one to 30 days, depending on his or her needs.
Additionally, the extension and top-up options are ripe for the taking, allowing the borrowers to extend their repayment date or apply for an additional amount of money within their loan limit.
Another unique and revolutionary feature implemented by Zenka in the Kenyan market is the possibility for first-time borrowers to take their first loan for free, at no cost at all.
The consumer-oriented approach is noticeable from every angle of Zenka’s business.
Not only does the lender provide highly tailored loan offers, but we also pay attention to the seamless client experience. The loans are easily accessible for every customer – through the app on Android and IOS (available on the Google Play Store and the App Store) as well as through the USSD short code *841# .This multi-channel approach is ideal for micro and small business clients who may not have smartphones capable of hosting mobile apps. This client segment is often also sensitive to the cost of mobile data required to operate mobile applications.
Over and above the multi-channel service approach, Zenka has also invested a lot in customer care and experience. Client’s service enquiries are managed swiftly by AI-powered CC system (arguably the only solution of that kind among Kenyan lenders), supported by a dedicated team of specialists.
To secure the clients’ financial safety, Zenka has developed and implemented a range of sophisticated tools for customer identification and creditworthiness evaluation ranging from machine learning algorithms, the use of Credit Bureaus, internally developed anti-fraud methodologies to dedicated econometric-based scoring models.
All the above contributed to the dynamic Zenka’s growth, resulting in building the base of more than 700,000 customers in just seven months. Undoubtedly by enabling financial credit encounter for more than 700,000 people (considering that total population of digital credit users is estimated at 7Mn), Zenka has made a substantial contribution to financial inclusion in the country and has shown potential to continue doing so in the foreseeable future.
It’s also worth mentioning that Zenka’s CEO – Robert Masinde was appointed as the chairperson of Digital Lenders Association of Kenya, which is another argument for claiming that this market challenger plays a vital role in the Kenyan lending industry development.
Zenka’s efforts paid off. Its customers voted for the brand and enabled it to win (despite the fierce competition) the top award for the most preferred non-banking platform and the 1st runner-up award for the fastest growing non-banking loan platform in the Financial Inclusion Awards ceremony held at Crown Plaza Hotel, Nairobi on Friday 9th August.
Zenka is challenging its competitors and courageously conquering the Kenyan lending industry serving as a proof that well-thought client-focused strategy combined with the innovative solutions and bold approach results in the African dream fulfilment. Although, as Zenka’s CEO – Robert Masinde claims, this is just the beginning of the incredible business journey.
For more information visit https://zenka.co.ke/.