Why are Instant Loans Popular in Kenya Despite Metropol CRB Listings?

Metropol CRB is top of the list of credit reference bureaus in Kenya. A financial institution can limit your chances of getting a loan by submitting your name to this bureau. Some employers have also been using credit reports to narrow their list of candidates.

The consequences of a CRB listing are supposed to push defaulters to fulfil their obligations. Some financial institutions use them as a way of reminding borrowers to pay their dues on time. However, many Kenyans seem unbothered with CRB listings.

The demand for unsecured loans has been increasing over the years. Banks have been very aggressive in selling these loans to their clients. The target for such loans is, in most cases, salaried customers. It is easy to deduct instalments directly from their paycheck.

The introduction of loan apps has increased the popularity of instant loans. You can hardly scroll your phone without interruption of an ad for a loan app. Thousands of Kenyans are downloading these apps to get quick cash.

The repayment period for most mobile loans is stretched over a month. The possibility of repaying and getting a new loan immediately keeps many borrowers hooked. The new loan may be a higher amount depending on the app.

Read Also: The Top 5 Instant Loan Apps in Kenya

For most loan apps, repaying on time means that you can grow your credit limit. Hence, borrowers strive to repay on the due date and then borrow almost immediately. The sad part is that most borrowers have several loans from different apps.

Having several loans at the same time means that the borrower is borrowing from one to pay the other. In addition, Kenyans are losing lots of money in terms of interest rates. The game ends when one is unable to keep up with the interest rates and defaults.

Lenders follow the legal procedure to demand repayment. Eventually, defaulters end up at Metropol CRB Kenya or Transunion CRB. However, the effects of defaulting do not seem to deter Kenyans from seeking new loans.

Metropol CRB Kenya

Do lenders still check the credit score of borrowers? While are instant loans still popular even with credit reference bureaus in place?

1. Ease of access

Many Kenyans borrow simply because they can. The ads for instant loans are so enticing and convincing. As the competition among lenders rise, creative ads have flooded the television stations. You come across several billboards as you drive around reminding you of an easy loan.

The convenience of applying on a mobile device is also inviting. The processing is simple, private, and fast. In fact, loan apps process requests within minutes. The process is even faster for borrowers with a clean financial record.

Banks have also improved the process of issuing unsecured loans. Partnerships with mobile money services such as M-pesa and Airtel Money have simplified lending. The highest percentage of Mpesa customers has tried the Mshwari services.

Safaricom’s partnership with Equity Bank and KCB has made it easy for Kenyans to access unsecured loans. Most lenders target business owners but end up with individuals. The trend will continue as other banks and SACCOs explore such partnership.

2. Harsh economic times

Kenyans are not just borrowing for the fun of it. The tough economic times have made instant loans an easy option for many families. The high unemployment rate among young people has turned them into borrowers.

As Kenyans continue to raise alarm concerning the huge government loans, the effects are trickling down to household. High taxation rates and high lending rates have slowed the growth of businesses.

Have you noticed the timing of advertisement for instant loans? They seem to pop up when you really need cash. Well, the ads are meant to do just that, entice you to apply for a quick loan. You are not alone. Thousands make the same decision every month.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Mobile App Categories as Analysed by Android App Designers in Kenya

3. No collateral required

Many defaulters whose names appear on Transunion CRB or Metropol CRB owe small amounts. Banks and other lenders do not require any security when issuing instant loans. A good credit score is the most important requirement.

If you dream of owning a loan app, CRB integration is necessary. You cannot rely on a client’s income alone to determine creditworthiness. Some app owners ignore bad credit but compensate the convenience with high interest rates.

Security is necessary for large amounts of money. However, most borrowers seeking instant loans need less than Ksh.50,000. Most loan apps limit the loanable amount at this level. It takes a while to qualify for the maximum amount.

4. Flexible repayment periods

Borrowers have a month to repay instant loans. The promise of a higher loan limit encourages borrowers to repay on time. Some mobile apps offer loans payable within 3 weeks. As long as the loan is paid on time, the borrower does not incur any penalties.

A month is a long time for small amounts. However, as the loan amount increases, repaying within a month with the interest becomes a challenge. Sometimes lenders reduce the loan amount drastically without informing the borrowers.

For the borrowers who repay to borrow again, such changes affect their ability to repay other loans. The result is several months of constant reminders to repay. When lenders exhaust all means of recovering their money, they list the default with a credit reference bureau.

5. Data security

When mobile loans were fast introduced, many borrowers were concerned about their personal information. The concern is still there but lenders have managed to convince borrowers of data security. Most app owners guarantee the same level of security as banks.

While security remains a concern, the pressing needs sometimes overshadow the concern. Borrowers are on many occasioned concerned about the quickest solution. Nevertheless, financial institutions play their part in securing personal data.

Our final thoughts

Instant loans will continue to trend as long as the competition in the financial markets remains. Every bank wants a big share while many SACCOs have transformed into banks. You too can be part of the big players. We help institutions and individuals develop agile loan apps.

Muva offers Metropol CRB integration and other bureaus as well. However, you need to educate your borrowers on the right reasons for applying for loans. It is easy to share financial tips when lending through a loan app.

13 Warning Signs to Look For When Hiring Web Designers in Nairobi

Gone are the days when you had to walk into a physical office to get a service. Technology allows professionals to work as freelancers including web designers in Nairobi. The same technology has opened a door for the unqualified web designers to join the industry.

You will come across many designers that promise what they cannot deliver. If you do not do your background check well, you are likely to end up in the wrong hands. The individuals may ever have some papers to show but still lack the skill.

How do you know that you are talking to the right person? Can you read past the marketing gimmicks and identify flaws? Well, let us make it easy for you. Look for the following red flags when interacting with a new web designer.

1. The designers do not have a website

Run from any designers that make too much noise about their skill but have no website. The least they can do as they look for clients is to design a website for their business. If all you see is social media buzz, messages and calls, you are talking to the wrong people. Insist on seeing a running website and then check the next sign.

2. They have a shoddy website

Let us say they pass the first test. They have a running website. Go a step further and analyse the quality of their website. Run if you find a poorly designed website. Otherwise, you will end up with the same if you hire such designers

3. No portfolio or testimonials

It is okay to hire new web designers in Nairobi. However, the decision comes with very high risks. A portfolio shows that the designers have already applied their skills in real projects. If the designers have been around for a while, there is a reason why no clients trust them with a project.

4. Poor customer service

How does the designer address you and your questions? Do you feel safe and comfortable when talking to them? If you must wait for days for a reply or get a bad attitude, you are better off with another designer. Excellent customer service is critical in every profession.

5. The designers lack an online presence

Here is another tell tale sign that you have landed in the wrong lane. You have a name but no online presence. You cannot find the designers in any social media platform. If such accounts exist, they are rarely updated and the information given is scanty.

6. They want to complete your project fast

Time is a critical factor but does take the place of quality. Be worried if find website designers in Kenya who want to rush through the process. The designers will promise to complete your website within days even without considering your unique specifications.

7. Very aggressive with pricing

Have you ever come across an advert for the cheapest or most affordable web design services? Well, there is no problem in offering affordable prices to attract customer. The problem comes when the designer insists on cheap services instead of quality service. If you hear the term “we are the cheapest” repeatedly, acknowledge the red flag and move on.

8. Asks few or no questions about your website or business

You are looking for a new channel to market your business or brand. Your website gives your audience the first impression of your brand alongside your social media accounts. Then you come across a designer who cares little about your business or brand. The goal for such designers is completing a project for the paycheck. Do what is right for your business; look elsewhere!

9. Big on plugins

Plugins add to the features on your website that makes it easier to manage content and monitor performance. However, if all the designers talk about is the plugins to add, you are in trouble. Some designers have mastered different plugins but cannot design a good website from scratch. You can add plugins without a designer. Look for skills and not design tricks.

10. Ignores your conversion goals

You are in business to make money. A website should contribute towards that goal. The right web designers in Nairobi will focus more on building your business than on developing a website. Hence, the chosen features will be based on your conversion goals. Do not trust anyone who ignores the business side of your website no matter how skilled they sound.

11. Lacks knowledge in SEO

You cannot mention web design today without mentioning Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A web designer may not be an expert in it but should have the basic principles in place. Check if their website is well optimised. The ranking on search engines including the domain authority can help you judge the designers’ knowledge of SEO.

12. No architectural strategy

Talk is cheap. If you all you get are promises but no solid strategy, you are free to explore other options. A good designer will give you an architectural strategy that suits the kind of website you need. With such a plan, you can compare the results after the development process to determine if they deliver what they promised.

13. Your gut says no

Have you ever had a chat that felt wrong? If your gut tells you to run, then run. Sometimes negotiating a deal feels wrong even when you do not have the facts. The designers answer your questions but you still feel like you are making a mistake. Do not ignore that feeling. If it feels like there is a loose end or missing link somewhere, try another design company.

Final remarks

Hiring web designers in Nairobi is only an easy journey if you know what to look for in the process. The secret is to have as many chats as possible, whether physical or virtual, before hiring. The field has many competent freelance designers. However, you will also come across individuals or companies with huge promises but no skills. Beware of subcontractors and check for the tell tale signs shared in this article.

How to Maximise App Downloads Through Social Media (Updated Guide)

As the leading software developers in Kenya, we took you through the process of generating a new app idea. You got an outstanding idea, built an app and made it available on all major stores. The big question now is, how do you maximize downloads?

You probably know that social media is an effective marketing tool. You could be using it for your business but, have you thought of the app? Many app owners miss on potential users by ignoring social media.

In this guide, we will show you how you can use different social media platforms to leverage the usage of your app. Remember that the more social platforms you engage the wider the audience you reach.

Let us know look specific platforms.

Facebook

Do you get tired of scrolling your Facebook timely? Yes? Well, social media users still think Facebook is the best way to connect. Look at the statistics on the figure below.

Figure: Active Social Media Users as of April (2019) in millions

Source: Statista

Facebook has maintained its top position as the most popular social platform. It has over 2 billion users worldwide. Facebook Messenger has over 1 billion users already.

The statistics show the potential reach when using Facebook as a marketing tool. If you target users beyond Kenya, you could reach millions or even billions of users with your app. How do you get there?

Creating an account on the social platform is just the first step. You need to keep your followers engage with relevant content. Choose high-quality images and video content with catchy captions.

Explore Facebook groups in your niche. You can start a group if none exists or engage those in relevant groups. You need not talk about your app all the time. Participating in discussions keeps your business visible.

Even with the best content and activity on the platform, you can only get so many pages likes. Facebook offers opportunities to promote your content and page. The good thing about the ads is that you can customise the audience to reach your target users only.

Instagram

Visual content sells faster than textual content on social media. Instagram is the perfect platform for pictures and images. From the statistics shared above, the platform has more than 1 billion users already.

About 70% of Instagram users are below 35 years. Hence, as you plan your Instagram marketing campaigns, think about this age group. About 60% of all Instagram users check their accounts daily.

For this platform, you need to share catchy images with a short description daily. The story feature gives you an additional platform to market your app. Most users spend time checking recent stories.

The advantage of Instagram is that you can posts several images, videos or a combination of both as your story. The story will disappear after 24 hours but your app will remain visible to users for as long.

You can also promote your content on Instagram to reach a wider audience. Target the younger audience when defining your target market. If your app targets young phone users, you have one strategy to explore.

Encourage your followers on Instagram to post their content for a prize. Contests will always attract new users to your business or brand. For instance, users can share their experience with your app through photos or videos.

You can also request screenshots of your downloaded app for a prize. Remember that users want to increase their followers as well. Hence, posting their content on your account makes them visible to a wider audience as well.

Twitter

Twitter has a relatively lower number of users compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, you cannot ignore the 300 million plus users on the platform. Look at the growth in the number of users since the first quarter of 2010:

Source: Statista

You have less characters and a limited number of pictures to share on Twitter. However, if you can keep up with daily trends, you will keep your app visible all day. Use the relevant hashtags for the day to make your tweets visible.

You can also search Twitter and discover the most relevant conversations in your niche. The conversations may not be trending at the time. However, your participation increases your visibility.

Here is another visibility strategy on Twitter. Follow influencers and participate in their conversations. Reply to their tweets and tag them in new tweets as well. One mention by an influencer with millions of followers makes your brand visible to all the followers.

Twitter has an advertising platform as well where you can promote your brand or tweets. The ads will show in all major hashtags of the day. Choose the content of your ads carefully to attract new followers.

YouTube

The demand for video content has been increasing over time. More than 87% of all marketing professional user video content and so should you. Software developers in Kenya will tell you that social media users cannot get enough of viral videos.

Consider the following statistics:

Consumers prefer YouTube videos to all other types of videos. Hence, you cannot run a social media campaign for your app without a YouTube channel. You have a potential audience of1.9 billion YouTube users.

Keep your video clips short, enticing, and relevant. The first few seconds should entice viewers to keep watching the video. Give tutorials on how to use your app in the videos.

You can also create slideshows of different features on the app. The videos are not limited to the app or your business. Think about interesting topics that are relevant to your target users.

WhatsApp

In the past, WhatsApp was an alternative way of texting and sharing files. Today, WhatsApp has become a major business tool. About 1.6 billion people have downloaded the app.

One way that businesses have been using the app for marketing is creating groups. You can invite new users to join your group and share content. Keep the content relevant and useful to retain your group members.

WhatsApp is also an excellent way of answering questions from consumers. Many would rather type in a question and get a prompt response rather than call or visit a website. In addition, the channel gives you a platform to collect feedback from actual users.

Additional tips for marketing an app on social media

1. Start marketing your app on all platforms during the development process. Do not wait until the app is launched to talk about it.

2. Gain as many followers as you can on all platforms including less popular platforms such as Snapchat or Pinterest

3. Leverage influencers on all platforms to make your app visible to their followers

4. Share live videos on Facebook, YouTube or IG TV before, during, and after the app launch

5. Use your target keywords on social media to make it easier for target users to find information about your app

Conclusion

Social media is a cost-effective method of promoting any product include a new mobile app. While still working with software developers in Kenya, get the word out about the upcoming app. You already know the features of the app. Hence, you have more than enough information to start social media campaigns before the launch. Sustain the social media campaigns even after the launch to retain acquired users and get new downloads.

Safaricom Results in the Eyes of Software Developers in Kenya

Why would software developers in Kenya be interested in Safaricom’s financial results? Well, there are enough reasons to keep up with the performance of top companies. Investors anticipate such results for the dividend payout. Software developers see beyond the numbers.

One of the questions that arise every time Safaricom PLC announces its results is the low financial status of its clients. The company has maintained the largest share of the market since it was established 18 years ago. Other mobile services are still trying to catch up with the company’s strategies and increase their market share.

For software developers, the interest is in the products and their contribution to the company’s profits. Developers are also interested in the company’s technology and business strategy, given that many of them are entrepreneurs. Let us first look at the numbers that interest developers.

Safaricom financial year (2019) results at a glance

The telecommunication company gained 63.1b in revenues in the financial year ending 31 March 2019. One of the notable figures in the results is the contribution of Mpesa to the revenue. The platform now contributes 31.2% of the revenue.

Related: The Success Story of Mpesa in Kenya

Safaricom has been improving the Mpesa service. Today, the platform can handle about 1,200 transactions in a second. Think about this level of efficiency and processing capacity. Kenyans are still signing up for Mpesa services include new merchants.

In the reported financial year, the company registered 2.1m new customers. The total number of active Mpesa users is now 22.6m. Safaricom also introduced the Fuliza service that allows customers to overdraw their Mpesa account.

About 8.8m customers had already opted into the services within 3 months of its introduction. The transactions for the Fuliza service in the 3 months were estimated at 29 billion. Safaricom has also been building its global partnership.

Based on the results, more than 11,000 customers transact on the Mpesa-PayPal service per month. Mpesa customers are also using the service to purchase apps. The customers have purchased more than 5,200 app from Google PlayStore and paid via Mpesa.

The recently launched partnership with AliExpress is also taking shape. Money transfer via Western Union is possible to more than 500 agents and over 3 billion bank accounts around the world. Safaricom customers can transfer and receive money from any part of the globe.

Lessons for software developers

Reading the number is interesting, especially if you are a Safaricom customer or shareholder. However, we will go for the lessons and not the numbers for now. What can lessons can software developers in Kenya take home from these results?

1. The contribution of software developers

Safaricom’s largest service to its clients is voice calls. However, the Mpesa platform has grown to become one of its largest contributors to its revenues. In the reported financial year, the service contributed 31.2% of the revenues.

Mpesa is of interest to developer for several reasons. The service started as a software development project in school. Safaricom bought the idea and developed it to a popular means of mobile payments around the globe. How much more would developers achieve if their engaged their creativity right from college?

Software developers in Kenya can create similar solutions that can revolutionize business or any other field. The question is, are developers thinking beyond the current trends? Kenyan developers have the capacity to set new trends instead of copying global trends.

The increasing popularity of Mpesa is of interest to developers. The current demand in the market is for software development and Mpesa integration services in one package. As more clients sign up for Mpesa payments for local and global transactions, the demand for the integration services increases.

2. The rising demand for loans

Developers have introduced many loan apps in the Kenyan market. However, Kenyans are still looking for alternatives. In less than 3 months, more than 8 million Mpesa customers had already tried the Fuliza service.

The tough economic times are pushing mobile phone users to look for quick soft loans. The reality is that most loan app users are subscribed to more than one service. One is never enough because of the low limit at the beginning.

The market for loan apps is still ripe. With the right information on how the financial market works, new entrants will make money through loan apps. Another requirement is choosing the right developers.

Safaricom is already revolutionising the loan market with Fuliza. The company has also signed partnerships with financial institution to enable clients to access soft loans from their accounts. Hence, new entrants must think beyond the available services in the market.

We cannot emphasize the need for differentiating solutions enough. The tendency to copy ideas has moved to the software market as well. Differentiation sets a solution apart in the market, which translates to a higher number of active users.

3. Providing high-capacity solutions

Software developers in Kenya need to learn the art of introducing functional solutions from Safaricom. The Mpesa processes more than a thousand transactions in a second. The challenge here is for developers to create such efficient solutions to their clients.

Phone users have no time to wait for minutes for a page to load. If an app is slow or unreliable in delivering a service, users look for the next best alternative. Such moves are bad news to appreneurs.

If you want to get referrals from your clients, create outstanding solutions. Push every solution to the best performance level possible. Give the right advice to your clients to improve the performance and speed of their solutions.

Software engineering is not a walk in the park. It takes months to create an outstanding solution. However, developers can improve their speed of delivering their services. In addition, developers can learn some business development strategies from Safaricom such as product diversification.

Final thoughts

Software developers in Kenya have a lot to learn from one of the leading companies in Kenya. Safaricom has set the pace in the telecommunication industry. Modern technology including software engineering technology has contributed to its outstanding results over the years. The consistency in offering reliable services in a turbulent economy is a challenge to all entrepreneurs including developers.

Top 10 Mobile App Categories As Analysed By Android App Designers in Kenya

We recently offered a guide on how to come up with a great app idea. While our core business is developing apps among other solutions, we want you to get your teeth in this industry. You do not need any experience or background in IT or software engineering. You just need the right information from Android app designers in Kenya and other sources.

With millions of apps out there, it sounds okay to assume that the market is flooded. Well, that is not the case. For example, you may look at social media and think Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have it all. But, if you look closely, new social platforms are still coming up.

People are always looking something new, something exciting and different. The question is, do you have it? As we suggest the categories of apps that you can develop, think about the difference that your solution will bring.

Just as it is with physical products, software needs differentiation. Where are the gaps in the category? What are app users looking for but cannot get from the existing apps? Think about these questions as we go through the list of suggested apps.

1. Loan apps

Financial technology has taken Kenya by storm. There is a new loan app anywhere you look. Banks are constantly advertising their mobile banking services and easy loans. That tells you that Kenyans are still looking for quick soft loans.

Get the necessary information on this type of business to get started. Training may be necessary if you do not have a background in finance. Alternatively, gather a team of like-minded people with the necessary skills and knowledge.

2. Taxi Apps

Do you think you can beat Uber and Taxify? Our thoughts: Yes, you can! If you have ever tried to book a ride via these apps during the rush hour, then you know it can be a nightmare. Many Kenyans shun taxi services because of the cost and process of haggling for a cheap ride.

New taxi apps have come up to meet the demand for affordable taxi rides. However, there is room for growth. One secret in this business is balancing the needs of drivers and clients.

Your thoughts should not be limited to taxis. Can you provide any other alternative to the chaotic matatu industry? How about a solution for safe solution carpooling?

3. Dating apps

Here is another favourite category that every aspiring apprenuer should consider. Love makes the world go round and Kenyans are looking for it. People try online dating secretly with the hope that it might lead to something serious. Give them that opportunity. Talk to Android app designers in Kenya and get started.

As you consider these apps, beware that users of dating apps are not entirely loyal. Users often download two or more apps to increase their chances. You just need to give them reasons to open your app every day. If you can offer them quick but close matches, you are right on that path.

4. Betting apps

The betting craze is still on in Kenya. You can make some money while it lasts. The thing with gambling is that it can be addictive. When a person plays for a while without winning on one platform, they look for alternatives.

Your alternative should give them better chances of winning and quick payouts. Make the betting process or user experience seamless. It is advisable to design a website as well. Some people prefer to play on websites but check their apps for instant updates.

5. Social apps

Where social apps are mentioned, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Whatsapp come to mind. However, there is more to this category that the popular social platforms. The idea of social apps is to bring together people with common interests and keep them talking.

Here is an example. Think about people who enjoy comics, or “bookworms” looking for an online book club. Many app owners are making money by bringing meme lovers or creators together. You too can think creatively and identify untapped social groups.

6. E-commerce apps

You do not need to have a running business to develop an e-commerce app. You can bring buyers and sellers on one platform. If you have a running business, you should be discussing the idea with top Android app designers in Kenya.

While selling products online is attractive, not every business needs an app. In addition, you need a safe and reliable payment method like Mpesa. Give customers value for their money by offering quality products, fair prices, and timely deliveries.

7. Tools

Web and mobile solutions should solve a problem or meet a pressing need. Tools match this description perfectly. The best place to start is to look at your current unmet needs. Can you find a solution for them? Can the solutions be mobile apps?

The category is quite broad from financial management or budgeting tools to maps, music players, photo editors, notepads, and editing tools. Pick one subcategory and find any gaps in meeting the user’s needs.

8. Music and Entertainment

We live in a generation that is either staring on the television screen or their mobile devices. When television programs prove boring, people turn to their phones for entertainment. Think about the time people spend in traffic bored.

An app that offers affordable entertainment will keep their minds occupied. The trick here is to offer something interesting for all users. If you choose to develop a music app, you must include all genres. It helps to include both local and international tracks on the platform.

9. Video players and editors

Video players follow audio or music players closely. Videos have gained popularity in the recent past. Fortunately for app builders, the old video players have limited functions. Your video player should have better features and functions.

Think of both video players and creators. As video content trends, many app users are looking for easy ways to shoot, edit, and share videos. Hence, your subcategories in this field are not limited to music videos.

10. Lifestyle apps

Mobile apps generally improve the quality of our lifestyle. However, the apps that fit in this category focus on a specific aspect. It is always easier to start with solutions in your niche. For instance, those in the beauty industry can use apps to share beauty tips.

Health and fitness are now a huge part of our lives. You can develop an app that combines the two aspects and offer actionable help. Alternatively, you can focus on food choices and offer recipes, diet tips or even meal plans. The list of possible lifestyle apps is long.

Final thoughts

When you browse your app store and check the listings for each category, you will find tens, hundreds, or even thousands of other apps. Beating the competition may seem impossible at first but it is possible. There is a gap or need that none of your competitors has identified or met fully. Extensive research will help you identify this gap and get a new idea. Get the best iOS or Android app designers in Kenya to actualise your idea and you will be on your way to great success.