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Article

Kenya: Code of conduct to regulate digital lenders accused of unethical practices incl. breach of customers' privacy

"Taming mobile loan sharks abusing the credit information sharing system"

...Some digital lending apps face accusations of collecting data on location, call records, and text messages, many times from unknowing customers, to make financial decisions. Some lenders have also been accused of using data from borrowers’ phones to shame them when they default on the loans, in some cases making threatening calls to the borrower, and sending text messages to close contacts in their phone books...

... The credit information sharing (CIS) industry code will govern non-regulated credit providers to ensure that various challenges are addressed including: unnecessary data disparities in the CRBs, failure to submit consumers’ positive data, failure to update data regularly, slow response to customer queries and customer disputes, delays in correcting erroneous customer data, and lack of physical offices or operational telephone contacts. CIS Kenya will be monitoring implementation of the code and the compliance, including data quality, consumer protection and consumer-centricity of lenders. The code provides for various sanctions and penalties applicable to errant CIS participants.