Consumers in the banking industry can now access their credit information through a friendly smart and feature phone application.
The new application by the TransUnion, a global information solution provider, will also enable bank lenders to access the same credit information, acting as a plat for consumers and lenders to come together.
Speaking during the launch of the new short code solution dubbed “Nipashe 2.0” in Nairobi, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Director of Technical Services, Fidelis Muia said there has been rapid growth in the bank industry and Kenya has moved up on ease of doing business because of the credit reference mechanism.
Muia noted that increased usage of customers requesting for their credit status has been on the increase, saying it was important for the industry to introduce the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) which has changed a new chapter in credit appraisal.
He, however noted that financial institutions have not been able to maximize the full potential of the Credit Score since their focus has been rather on a simplistic lend or not led decision.
“We need to automate credit to reports to march the rapid growth in the banking industry and with the emergence of digital lending platforms such M-shwari, M-pesa and Equitel as well as rising of smart phones and tablets, banks need to align themselves with the consumer demand,” he said.
He challenged the member banks to educate customers more on CRB saying currently the consumers have a general awareness of CRBs and reports but are yet to understand the importance of credit reports and the impact the reports have in their daily lives.
Muia said a large number of consumers are rarely concerned and they only get to know about the reports when they have negative reports or seeking a new facility.
The popularity of the term “Blacklist”, Muia added has also not helped because this ensures the public have a negative conception of the credit reports considering the banking industry has been having full file sharing for almost three years.
“We need to work a bit more in creating consumer awareness and ensure that they are encouraged to update their data on CRB not only when they need it but routinely,” Muia said.
TransUnion Kenya, Country Manager, Rose Muturi said that the application serves as a meeting place for consumers and lenders to make contact with the consumers providing competitive credit offers.
“The timing for this application is perfect, we have our local elections coming soon, and any potential candidate requires by law to have a CRB clearance certificate. Potential candidates will be able to, at their convenience now check their credit status, clear any negative listings cleanly and efficiently, and obtain the required clearance certificate,” she said.
Muturi, however said that the first CRB report by a consumer will be free but for any additional credit report a consumer will have to pay Shs 650. For a clearance certificate a consumer will part with Sh 2,200.
The Nipashe 2.0 application will enable consumers easily navigate their way to a cleared credit record, be able to pay outstanding debts and be able to make payments to various lenders and financial institutions with immediate results from their smart devises.