The Office of the Data Protection Commission (ODPC) has announced that it is going to audit 40 digital lenders in Kenya after more than 1000 complaints were received against them on how they handle personal data.
“As of September 30, 2022, ODPC had received 1030 complaints, the office admitted 555 of these cases including 299 which were on digital lenders, representing 54 percent of all cases reported,” said the ODPS in a statement.
Digital lenders under audit include:
- Cash Sea
- Collect Plus
- Credit Kes
- Credit Moja
- Direct Cash
- Hela Credit
- Ikash Connect
- Lemon Kash
- Premier Credit Ltd
- Pocket Pesa
- Zash Loan
- Zuri Cas
The new audit is yet another blow to the digital lenders that have since been put under the radar of the Central Bank of Kenya. They are now regulated and will be required to operate in line with the requirements of the Central Bank of Kenya.
Under the new CBK rules. digital lenders will no longer call or threaten borrowers who default on loans. Those who do so and are reported will either have their licenses withdrawn or fined by the regulator. The lenders had formed a habit of calling customers and sending threatening messages to them and their families.
The audit also comes at a time the CBK is continuing with its own audit before issuing fresh licenses to more than 200 digital lenders. The lender has been releasing weekly reports on who has been allowed to operate with only 20 having been issued licenses.
The government seems to have decided to clean the sector. More than 500,000 Kenyans are on the CRB. The 500,000 owe digital lenders less than 500 shillings each. The president and the CBK have said they will drain the swamp.