Collaboration between telcos and microfinance banks in rolling out products and services that boost the financing of micro small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is impending, financial sector players say.
Microfinanciers have an important role to play in financing MSMEs that will power Kenya’s take off and improve the quality of lives through the creation of employment and goods.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has licensed 13 microfinance banks.
The market is expecting more exciting products to hit the market soon considering the trends of mobile phone penetration in Kenya.
Mobile money explosion boosted by conducive regulatory environment and cheaper connectivity will stimulate more innovation in the sector and enhance financial inclusivity.
The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) says the financial industry has an outstanding record of introducing and identifying new innovations that have lowered cost, improved efficiency, made life easier for customers and opened new opportunities for growth.
“To fuel their growth engines MSMEs continue to minimize lack of credit. And where credit is available, it may not be affordable to the MSMEs,” said KBA chief executive Habil Olaka, during the launch of a savings and loan product by Maisha Microfinance Bank (MFB) in partnership with Airtel called M-Fanisi.
Maisha MFB became the first telco-backed microfinance to launch a savings and mobile money solution in the market and the fourth financial institution, alongside banks such as Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Equity.
Mr. Olaka said “Digital financial services have re-defined service delivery within the sector, providing greater access to mainstream banking services, especially to the underbanked. We are pleased with Maisha Microfinance Bank’s aggressive innovation strategy which leverages Africa’s most utilized technology, the mobile handset, to provide a platform that not only extends financial services but also enhances a savings culture within our population,”