From Left: Tala Regional Country Growth Manager Ivan Mbowa and Tala's East African Marketing Director Kevin Kaburu showcase some of the merchandise that will be used to reward staff and customers as Tala marks five years of advancing financial inclusion in Kenya.

When Tala (formerly Mkopo Rahisi) launched in Kenya in 2014, it was the first in the world to offer unsecured mobile lending direct to consumers. Since then, Tala has expanded credit access across Kenya by using alternative data to instantly underwrite and disburse credit to people who have been excluded from traditional finance due to lack of credit history or formal records.

Speaking during the launch of ‘Tala at 5’ anniversary celebrations, the head of Tala’s Kenya business, Ivan Mbowa, said that Tala has changed the way people and small businesses operate and has become a major vehicle for progress throughout the country.

“Financial inclusion is an important condition for sustainable and equitable growth. Over the past five years we have witnessed first-hand the socio-economic impact of digital lending amongst households and micro-entrepreneurs,” Mr Mbowa said. “With over 90% loan repayment rate, Tala has been the difference for millions of Kenyans hustling their way into the global middle class. Their trust in us is measurable and reflected in our top Google Play store ratings, referrals to family and friends and consistent calls from customers for more products and connection to their lives.”

 “We have made significant progress in the past five years. Our loyal customer base  has been growing steadily and we have managed to retain our leading market share notwithstanding growth and competition in the industry,” said Shivani Siroya, Founder and CEO of Tala. “We take pride in the work we have been doing, and as we face the future, we are well positioned to connect millions of Kenyans to financial services that can advance their lives.”

Looking ahead, Tala will continue playing a crucial role in providing life-changing financial support in Kenya and around the world.  “Our credit product was designed to meet the immediate needs of the emerging middle class, but our technologies have the power to fulfill so much more. We are set to launch a number of initiatives intended to accelerate the development of products and service solutions that have the potential to transform financial services,” Mr Mbowa said.

“While technology is a big component, customer experience is the foundation underlying our success. To catalyze the expansion of accessible financial services for all, products  must be developed with the customer at heart,” Mr Mbowa added.

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With an established customer base in Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, India, and Mexico, Tala is also looking at cementing its leading position while expanding to several other countries in the next five years.

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