Men Dominate 65pct of Kenya’s Mobile Loan Markets

Microfinance in Kenya

Kenyans are risk-averse borrowers preferring one or two lenders at most

The number of issued mobile loans were mainly distributed between age < 25 and 31-40

New data from Creditinfo Credit Reference Bureau reveals that the Kenyan mobile loan market is dominated by borrowers aged between 31 and fifty years.

The report revealed that 65 percent of mobile loan borrowers are men while the rest of the loan book is taken up by women.

“The market is heavily dominated by men, but what we can see today in mobile lending is certainly an improvement. Central Bank has been reporting that digital financial services – which do not require traditional forms of security – are helping to narrow the gender gap in financial inclusion,” said Mr. Kamau Kunyiha, Creditinfo Regional Manager East and Southern Africa.

The analysed data carried out from November 2018 to April 2019 and constitutes information supplied by lending institutions to CRBs under Central Bank of Kenya rules.

Men Dominate 65pct of Kenya’s Mobile Loan Markets

A total of Ksh112.2 billion was lent by the 15 lenders to their customers in the period under review.

Over this time, individual borrowers applied for loans 4.5 times on average while companies requested for loans 2.6 times on average.

The report shows that those under 25 are lent an average of Ksh3,600 while the amount doubles for borrowers who are in the 41-50 age group.

“Young people will often be scored lower since their analytics will show fewer revenue streams and lower money velocity compared with their counterparts in the older demographics who will likely be earning from a salary or a business income. Customers can, however, improve their credit scores by making payments on their loan obligations on time,” said Mr. Kunyiha when he released the report in Nairobi.

Findings further showed that 66 percent of borrowers are averse to borrowing from more than one lender while another 24% was found to have borrowed from two lenders, leaving about 10 percent who venture to more than two lenders.


“Kenyans appear to be risk-averse to borrowing from more than two lenders even though the market has more than fifty digital loan products available,” said Kunyiha.

The banking sector dominates the mobile lending space by 93 percent while the other 7 percent is lent out by digital mobile apps. 

The banking sector dominates the mobile lending space by 93 percent

Men Dominate 65pct of Kenya’s Mobile Loan Markets

“Since banks are regulated, we can, therefore, deduce that most of the mobile lending in the Kenyan market is regulated,”  added Kunyiha.

“They’re a lot of ifs and buts. We based this report on the data supplied to us by lenders in order to eliminate those buts and ifs and begin a trend of information that is backed strictly by data,” said MrKunyiha.


CreditinfoCRB, which analysed loans below Ksh50,000 with a repayment period of not more than 3 months, shows that borrowers aged 25 years and under have the lowest credit scores and are, therefore, lent the least amounts while the credit score improves over time as they grow older.

The analysis constitutes a deep-dive into the data on 19.1 million loans lent to 4.5 million individual borrowers and 855 companies by 15 lenders between November last year and April this year.