You are welcome…
I would like to note that i have enjoyed better okash services since i started this thread thanks to Mr.Ndichu and his team for personally looking into the issues i raised and responding in good time.I hope they maintain and keep improving.
It’s good to see these incidences being brought up here. And as it’s been said on this forum, Techweez is a much better discussion platform than Facebook if you want to reach corporate decision makers - recent successes here show that. Mobile Loan apps get a really bad rep, and this might come from a misunderstanding on how the loans are issues.
How Loan Companies (probably) Set Interest Rates
The first step is always a risk assessment, and given the diversity of users, achieving a risk model that balances user value and corporate goals from scratch is almost impossible. All the (alleged) factors that determine a user’s credit worthiness in the digital age - Mobile Phone Type, Location (and GPS History), Call frequency, Type of apps installed, Connection speed etc are mostly intangible. They don’t ask you for your plot number or vehicle vin and match with KRA records, they’re using estimation and speculative analysis to determine your creditworthiness and give you a loan within minutes. They are taking all the risk and this amount is valid. Those offering lower rates are either distributing that risk in other areas or lowering the QoS to facilitate this.
Kenya is 90% a cash economy, meaning majority will never feel the full effects of a CRB rating so loan companies don’t have any assurance that you’ll pay, or any fallback to compel you to pay should the need arise, so even though they have a leaner operation, a high interest rate is their solution to weed out defaulters.
OKash Noted Complaints (Public Space)
Poor Onboarding Experience
Poor Communication on Loan Processes
Poor Communication on Loan (dis)approval reasons
Poor (almost no) Customer Service
Poor Escalation Matrix
Lack of Continuous Value - High, unexplained loan rejection rates
(My Suggestions On) How OKash Can Improve Their Offering
Gary Vee said it best: Value, Value, Value then ASK.
If it wasn’t for Techweez I would not have known about OKash, or continue discussing it. Studies say 1 in 4 Kenyans has borrowed a mobile loan, so unless everyone I meet is on Tala or Branch (unlikely) then perhaps the communication isn’t reaching all those it can.
Get a loan in minutes - Clarify this, how many minutes? Yes, it is different for each user but remember, a month is still made up of minutes. The goal is to give users their first value experience as quickly as possible, even if it’s at a loss to the company. Define the exact time even if it’s a minimum, but show them a number.
OKash permissions are activated on first launch AFTER installation on some handsets. This can limit growth. Barclays Timiza has theirs activated during installation = more detailed insights without user engagement
Push notifications are allowed but how are they utilized? I’ve had the app on my phone but no engagement from OKash. You know the phone make/model that downloaded so continuing the customer journey using push notifications should be part of the process. For an example, check the Ali Express android app - after install and without ever launching, their engagement is commendable.
Owning data is great, but asking for extensive data entry doesn’t entice users. Suggested Method:
Names, ID Number, Phone Number, get OTP - 30 second signup
Tell the user they can get 500 immediately (or whatever they qualify for), or continue for a chance to raise their credit rating
Connect Facebook - Account must have bene registered for 6 months to be valid
Connect Instagram - Same requirements as FB
Each of the above can be an extra 500 in their credit rating. If you’re willing to give KES 300 to members when their invitees sign up and repay loans, this can work too (might need adjustments based on market)
Video walkthroughs explaining the whole process. If people can send 20MB videos via WhatsApp, they can watch tutorials on the app/Facebook/YouTube explaining how to get a loan
Ask those who’ve used OKash to successfully change their lives to be featured. Once a story has been vetted and approved for official publication, Integrate their own invite link into the stories - blog articles or whatever - so they can earn referral fees. Help them help you grow.
Product Segmentation (Might be there, shall verify when I open the app after my wait period, but if it isn’t)
Show different loan types with different interest rates - Users click this first then enter the amount. Should help segment users for recommendations later
You now have user numbers, what they borrow and what they borrow it for. Partner with retailers and Open an estore
Host the store natively instead of linking out
Discounted items in agreement with retailers based on user interest: EG: 50K water tank is 47K on the store
Someone borrows a home development loan of 50K, gets a notification they now have access to the store (no access before borrowing)
They buy the talk at 47K saving 3K. They see value. They Click buy, it goes straight to the retailer and they just have the item shipped
Bonus: You negotiated bulk sales so the tank costs you 45K, meaning you made 2K from each user. They still have to pay 50K but they saved 3k
After understanding user interests, create a platform to guide them on best practices of borrowing/investing:
Businesses you can start with x amount
Courses that improve your chances of a promotion
How to budget your loan
What is CRB and how do I stay out of it? (sensational title)
Our Loans vs Bank Loans: Remind them why your product is better (competitive counter marketing)
Forum to engage users and identify features they want
Give feedback on Products users purchased
Monthly Chat with Company Leadership
Identify users who are the most responsive/who give the best/most consistent feedback and incentivize them - reduced interest rates or offer them roles as official customer care - customers serving other customers is the best kind of care
Categorize all these users and prioritize them when it comes to any special offers by partners
You’ve identified engaged members and they’re now part of your customer care: consumer voice department. Meld their approach with the business - 60% customer, 40% business
Engage users on the app- chat, forum, calls - as much as possible for easier reputation management
Interactive Help Section
Issue Reporting - Allow from any screen on the app, automatic screenshot and log attached with user commentary
Unified presence on social media - why do you have 2 Facebook pages cannibalizing your audience?
Automate your On-Boarding: Bots are your friend, use them to answer FAQs on Facebook while auto-tagging user selections to determine pinpoints in a scalable way outside your app. This should support customer care efforts, not replace (most of) them (not yet anyway)
Respond to google play store reviews/questions by users
Offline chats to get emotionally charged feedback absent in written issues - Nairobi Garage After Office Hours as an example
Value & Growth:
Suggest users to review their experience - FB, Play Store, in-app estore
(deferred) deep link invites
Double rewards for sign ups - user and invitee, even if it means splitting the KES 300 into 2
Loan borrowers don’t get ads on opera mini by default
Points for loan repayment earn rewards with partners
Exclusive giveaways by vetted partners: translate their marketing budget into tangible value that will reach 10x the audience compared to mainstream media.
OKash Accepted Here: Partners who have products in your app support Click & Collect: Buying on the app and collecting offline at the store they’re standing in within minutes.
Easter Eggs - Each user is assigned social points that will determine Easter eggs unlocked
Time based engagement = lower interest rates: those who consistently visit the app, provide feedback, answer customer questions, invite users through sharing get lower rates
Perks for borrowing tiers: Each new tier unlocks benefits - free delivery, cash back, interest free loans
Express Loans: Use app for at least 6 months, Borrow loans, pay them on time every time, unlock interest free express loans at 10% the value of your credit. Failure to pay this loan = your credit is wiped and you’re back to square one (first day you registered)
Users with the best invitees - highest credit ratings - enter a monthly draw and the winners get their credit doubled or their outstanding loans cleared
Even in beta, establish a publicly observable product management infrastructure with someone who answers directly to you (and only you, since OKash staff seem to only respond to customer issues when you/someone in leadership is copied in the communication) and have them work on this product consistently for 6-8 months with full oversight of dev, digital & business teams.
Those who’ve tried this, how has it worked? Given selfie cameras aren’t as secure and most phones don’t have decent IR Scanners, how secure is this on a mass level?
Wait, I wasn’t the only one who has seen this?
I almost deleted the app
Don’t keep us in suspence, what happened when you opened the link with tala?
Let me try again and will respond. I opened with my usual browser.
UPDATE: It stays a blank white, nothing beyond that.
Poor implementation, or just an underhanded way of getting people to re-engage with the app?
If done correctly, it could really boost loans for the app. Imagine someone sharing a shopping link for an item e.g. Jumia but it opens on a loan app where the same item has a higher discount. You click buy but instead, it qualifies you for a loan. if you pass, you’re asked to confirm if you want to purchase the item on loan and on approval, the payment goes straight to the merchant with the loan platform getting pre-agreed discounts, as demonstrated here:
I would suggest this option as far better than them trying to collect users browsing habits through a loan app browser. They collect more than enough data during the sign-up process to comfortably build a risk model and if they can’t give users more value vs the data they collect, then it’s no wonder the government is trying to reign in their renegade lending practices.
How will mobile lenders respond to these new restrictions
To avoid this kind of incident in the future, Google is launching a new initiative called Project Strobe, which outlines tighter guidelines for developers using Google services and accessing the company’s APIs in their apps. Here are some of the changes which will impact devs and users the most:
- Google is offering granular control of Google services accessed by an app to users. Following the Android permission model, apps will have to get permission separately for each service they use.Here’s an example: An app could previously get access to a user’s Google Drive and Google Calendar by requesting it from the user in a single prompt. But now, it has to request permission for each of these two services separately.
- The company is also limiting access to Gmail services to certain apps like email clients, productivity suites, and email backup managers. Additionally, Google has issued new guidelines for developers to modify their apps.Apps using Gmail API will go through a stricter review process after January 2019, particularly on the grounds of security, fair usage of Google’s APIs, and user data management.
- Google Play will limit Android apps using SMS and phone data to avoid misuse of that information. Only apps set as the default for calling and texting will have access to this data, with the exception of voicemail and backup apps.
- Google is also separating contacts interaction data – which is used to determine recent and frequent contacts – from the Contacts API. This means that a lot of apps using SMS for authentication may have to change their code.
In an ideal world it would be assumed that the money lenders have this down as a business risk.
The less innovative might be forced to go back to signed and notarised forms
Just sit back and look forward to the launch of the new tala/branch app now including SMS and Phone calling features. No loans unless we are the default texting and calling app
I can’t wait to see smart phones bundled with loan apps
So my shitty okash experience continues,or should i say its now over…Apparently I have cleared my outstanding loan with them and proceeded to uninstall the app and i have no intention of using their services ever again.First i would like to start with saying “F*@k You,Okash Customer Support team”…I strongly advice any user seeking their lending services here to avoid them like the plague…Here is the problem i have with them,they are acting like stupid shylocks…first they call me daily,twice a day…it starts from the day before my due date,with sweet offers if i repay earlier,then on the actual due date they call to ask what time you are paying the loan,thats morning and evening…then every day after that they call every morning and evening.different people everyday demanding that i repay my loan,having a discussion or agreeing with the okash team is an effort in futility…they are not interested in what you have to say.they are very demanding on tone even on phone and very bothersome with a lot of texts and calls with CRB threats included.Lastly they do this for like a week as long as you have a pending amount with them.The day you fail to pick their calls or respond to them even if its just a one day,they call your significant other/parents and start threatening them…that happened to me yesterday,i had to endure an hour long lecture from my dad on phone coz i didnt pick up the okash call since i was busy at work hustling and my phone was on the charger.So first thing today i decided to source funds elsewhere and finish up with this okash piece of shit…
Okash team call with different people,different numbers some even marked as spam…the people calling are very unpolite and uncouth,both ladies and gents,they dont wish to discuss with an open mind or engage the client nicely to find a way forward,all they do is threaten and beg and threaten and bother…Clients have lives bana,they got stuff to do and they have rights most of all.Other lending apps dont engage in this shit,a client has at least 60days to clear his loans and penalties before he is to be reported or listed on CRB…Okash team be busy acting like thugs…Understand your fucking customers first and discuss…I am sorry Mr.Ndichu but with all due respect,please fire your entire debt recovery team and find better replacement or close up shop.
That’s dodgy. Even if you owe them anything, that approach is wrong.
My only advice is to ditch easy credit.
I requested a credit report this Monday and the sum amount of loans I’ve done this year is a six figure sum.
Ditch them all.
Somebody I know was threatened with skiptrace over a 4k online loan that was a week overdue.
What made me really mad is that the cost of recovery was more than the value of the loan.
All these firms are glorified shylocks.
Okash is Breaking fair debt collection Practice Act https://www.privacyrights.org/consumer-guides/debt-collection-and-your-rights.