Branch bought a microfinance bank in Kenya in 2023 after it secured a licence to operate a bank from the central bank of Kenya. Now, Branch operates as a neobank with additional products and services. In the future, its customers may be able to access business loans.
Loan apps have been having a tough time in markets such as Kenya, and regulators have since instituted laws against personal data abuse, among other measures. These measures include policing cases of harassment for customers who cannot repay their loans and mandating that loan companies must have physical offices.
The laws also require that digital credit companies obtain a licence from regulators. To this end, licensed digital apps have dropped from over 200 to just under 40. Other players, such as Branch, have since pivoted beyond loan services to further appeal to customers.
Launched in 2016, digital lender Branch says it is now a neobank. This is coming on the heels of a revamp of its product portfolio…