Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 1. What is Pezesha?
     

    Pezesha’s name comes from the two acronyms Pesa and Wezesha to mean Financial Empowerment in Swahili. We are all about Kenyans empowering other fellow Kenyans. We connect lenders to borrowers and facilitate loans on affordable and fair terms. 

  • 2. What makes Pezesha different from other alternative and retail lenders?
     
    1. Risk Minimization: Pezesha has deployed a robust credit scoring model, capable of processing conventional and unconventional data in order to identify credible low income borrowers. The ability to identify these credible borrowers who typically do not have any collateral helps to minimize the risk that lenders on our platform stand to face.
    2. Maximization of Returns: Pezesha is structured in a way whereby the lenders receive their full income without incurring any operational costs which are involved in facilitating the loans. This is achievable because Pezesha uses a peer to peer structure thereby ensuring that lenders get maximum returns whilst we deal with the basic expenses.
  • 3. What are the benefits of being a lender on Pezesha?
     
    • Solid returns of 20-30% per year compounded Annual Rate, compared to fixed deposits in banks and micro lending savings options of 3-7% per year.
    • Ability to choose your portfolio structure (Conservative, Balanced, Aggressive - see lenders page).
    • Be part of a movement creating social and economic impact
  • 4. Give an example of how Pezesha works
     

    Mary needs Ksh. 5,000 ($50) to buy weekly stock for her small kiosk in a low income neighbourhood in Nairobi. She does not have the cash available to buy her products and therefore has to temporarily close, despite knowing she would have Ksh. 10,000 in a month’s time from her revenues.

    Through our mobile platform, Mary requests a loan from Pezesha, who conduct an automated credit score in 30 seconds through robust verified data sources, and then sources the amount from Kenyans with idle/spare capital.

    Mary can then grow her business, and improve her credit rating, paying back with mobile money.

  • 5. What is the process of becoming a lender on Pezesha?
     

    It’s an easy process:-
    For individuals, please see the lending page for full details. From here you can also download the app from the Google Play store or from the Apple store, and follow instructions.
    For institutions please complete the form at the bottom of our institutions page.

  • 6. How do I top up and withdraw funds on the Pezesha platform?
     

    Pezesha works by lenders topping up to a mobile wallet that is used to fund local Kenyan businesses. Top up is done either through M-Pesa Paybill or directly from the app as follows:

    Option 1- Our M-Pesa PayBill number is 898927. Your ID number is your account Number.

    Option 2 - Go to the top-up tab then enter the amount to credit. Once you click on top-up, an MPESA request pop-up will appear on your screen. Proceed to Answer with 0 to create a PIN for your transaction. Top-up your chosen amount from your M-pesa.

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  • 7. What is the minimum and maximum amount I can deposit?
     

    Kshs 1,000 is the minimum investment top up. M-pesa allows a maximum top up of Kshs 140,000/- (USD 1,400) per day.

  • 8. Will you always be taking in new lenders?
     

    Not always. When we have more supply of lenders than we require, we reserve the right to stop the acceptance of new lenders into our platform for a period of time. In such a case, we will notify lenders when we have the necessary demand again.

  • 9. What is the repayment process?
     

    When a borrower repays their loan, a credit will be made on your Pezesha account, which you can further use to fund other Kenyan businesses within the Pezesha platform, or withdraw from your account.

    We encourage you to recycle your repaid amounts instead of withdrawing the funds as the compounding effect will maximize your returns.

    Please note that there is a Ksh. 33 withdrawal fee.

  • 10. What kind of returns could I make?
     

    The returns you can expect depend on the portfolio strategy you decide on. This is selected in the app and you have 3 options:

    • Conservative:  Average Annual Returns 20-24% (inclusive of tax), Investment split in favour of low risk products.
    • Balanced: Average Annual Returns 25-29% (inclusive of tax), Investment split evenly across all products.
    • Aggressive: Average Annual Returns, 30-35% (inclusive of tax), Investment split in favour of high risk products
  • 11. What are the risks involved?
     

    Please note, lenders bear the full risk if a loan is not repaid, fully or partially. Pezesha is not lending your money, you are. That said, it is our job at Pezesha to make sure that we stringently assess all borrowers before they are eligible for loans. This ensures repayment, which in turn ensures stable investor returns. We advocate for a prudent risk policy that involves:

    • Pre-screening: Before on-boarding a borrower, we conduct thorough checks to determine their capacity to pay. Using our credit-scoring model, we establish the borrower’s credit score and reference third party information from Credit Reference Bureaus.
    • Diversification:  We put your eggs in many baskets!!! The Pezesha platform spreads your risk by lending your funds across multiple borrowers.

    Please read our Lender Terms & Conditions before signing up as a lender. If you have any questions about it please contact us directly.

  • 12. How do you assess whether a borrower is creditworthy or not?
     

    Pezesha uses a number of processes to ensure that we approve borrowers who are likely to repay their loans. This creditworthiness evaluation is done in real time by the following means:

    1. TransUnion/ CRB to know in seconds whether a borrower has failed to repay loans to any other Kenyan financial institutions in the past
    2. Verified and robust data that we access directly from mobile operators’ APIs with borrowers’ consent (for example their mobile money statements). This data enables us to get a very detailed view of their incomings and outgoings, which in turn allows us to determine whether a borrower has the financial capacity to repay your loan.
    3. Strategic partners/trustees provide us with 12 months consistent stock and automated business transactions of the micro business they work with.
  • 13. How do you ensure consumer protection?
     

    Consumer protection is at the heart of our business for both our borrowers and lenders. With the expertise of our legal arm, we have been able to set clear terms and conditions for our customers including complying with the best international practices over and above that which is required by Kenyan law. We take a collaborative approach in educating our customers on our terms of use and ensuring good user experience in presenting and communicating the terms on our platform.

    Our customer KYC process is thorough, including checks and balances such as checking with third party credit databases for any fraud or illegal track record. We do this through 2 primary methods: Education and Borrower profiling.

    1.Education

    We understand that the character of a borrower is a key factor in whether they will meet his/her loan obligation. To this end, we spend considerable time in educating the borrower as a means of positively influencing their character.

    Our loan process starts with education and creating self-financial awareness to the low income borrowers. This is followed by a clear explanation of the terms and conditions of the loan, in a language that is conversant to the borrower, and information on how the ability of the borrower to diligently abide by these terms helps them to improve their credit history performance, and to ultimately connect them to the formal financial system.

    Additionally, this education helps us to build a loyal relationship with our customers and understand their needs better. The credit we facilitate is built on responsible financing - transparency and trust to the lenders by giving them sufficient information about the borrowers’ risk profiles and use of funds.

    We have closely followed guidelines by FSD Kenya on to how to ensure high levels of consumer protection in what we do.

    Importantly, time is taken to explain to the borrowers what the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) is, and to introduce them to the concept and consequences of “blacklisting”.      

    In summary, we ensure that the borrowers understand the terms of the loan agreement before proceeding to the loan application process. This includes understanding:

    • The foreseeability of harm or consequences including blacklisting if they fail to repay the loan on time;
    • The use of the loan in line with moral and ethical principles
    • The extent of the burden and consequences if the other members in their group or community do not pay back on time.
    • The cost, availability and risks involved.

    2.Borrower profiling

    Importantly, our goal is to be sustainable in the long term, and we know that this will only be possible by ensuring that the majority of our borrowers have the capacity to pay back the micro loans they are given.

    Our profiling helps us to understand the borrowers better and as such, we take guardianship seriously, and are careful not to overextend the amount of credit to an individual until the borrower has proven that they have the ability to generate the necessary payments and thus not fall into a debt trap.

    This is governed by our duty of care that involves the signing of a legally binding contract and a digital consent acceptance form on our terms with each borrower.

  • 14. How do you mitigate the risk of default?
     

    Our credit scoring continues to evolve to ensure its robust enough to further intelligently  assess creditworthy borrowers and automatically reject the ones below the threshold. This will significantly reduce default risk and increase returns for lenders.

    Our credit scoring model helps us to identify borrowers at risk of overextending their debt by spotting irregular patterns in the data obtained from the borrowers. This is done through some complex data analytics which has taken into context the Kenyan financial environment,  and this is a core tenant of our credit scoring model.

    Our team has built successful credit scoring models in Africa before. Our exceptionally talented tech team has built the scoring system to scale with our growth and allow us to closely monitor the performance of our loans. This allows us to better assess our new borrowers in order to tailor our offering to them, and allow lenders to choose a risk portfolio which best suits them.

  • 15. Does Pezesha Invest its own Funds?
     

    Yes. Pezesha investments covers up to 50% of the total loans granted on our platform. Our investment strengthens our  “skin in the game” in understanding and learning from our own data, risks and consumer behaviour, as well as patterns to reduce the risk of bad debts.

    Pezesha will continue to invest alongside other lenders on the platform as this also helps us to maximize our returns in the short and long term. We walk the talk: Pezesha invests its own money on the platform to also demonstrate our confidence in our credit scoring model and also to gauge borrower behavior in terms of repayment and default so as to further enhance our credit scoring model.

     

  • 16. What do you do to ensure a loan is repaid on time? What do you do if a loan is not repaid on time or past 90 days?
     

    We have implemented an effective recovery policy: We make the best effort to recover lenders’ investment.

    We send frequent SMS reminders and calls to borrowers on their loan repayment schedule - from day 1 to day 30. If they are late, we send them automated follow up SMS reminders. Furthermore, we work closely with community champions to assist in the collection process. We then do a follow up call and SMS in the event a borrower defaults on their repayment.

    Thereafter, Pezesha forwards their names and details to a credit reference bureau, TransUnion, who double up as our external debt collection agency for blacklisting after day 90.

    We ensure the external collection agency practices align with our values, approach and reporting policies through our monthly reviews and weekly communication and reporting. This is achieved through brainstorming cost effective and fair sanctions that include giving the borrowers choices of restructuring their debt while ensuring that they are not incentivized to restructure when they could otherwise repay on time. After day 120, we then write off the loan.

    In the event that a repayment goes past its term, the borrower incurs daily charges to encourage them to quickly settle their balance. The penalty interest will be included in the investor’s return.

  • 17. Can I withdraw money from a loan that I have made before it has been repaid?
     

    When funds are committed to a loan that has been disbursed, the money is with the borrower and cannot be reclaimed until it is repaid. When the borrower begins making repayments, these earnings are transferred back to your Pezesha account. Once the funds are in your Pezesha account, you can withdraw the funds at your convenience though we encourage you to re-invest to maximize your long-term returns.

  • 18. What is the difference between wallet balance and funding balance on the app?
     

    Your wallet balance and is the amount which is available for withdrawal at any point in time.

    The funding balance is the amount which can be utilized for granting out loans. Typically, both lending balance and funding balance show the same figure for lenders who loan continuously from both interest earned and principal repaid.

    These two balances will only be different if a lender chooses to lend on full repayment. In this case, the funding balance will be lesser than the wallet balance.

  • 19. How do I get to know when my borrower has made a repayment?
     

    You can access all your repayment notifications from the app dashboard. The button is on the upper right side of the app. Once you click on the menu bar, a pop-up menu will appear listing Settings, Notifications, and Log Out. Click on the Notification button which brings you to another page with your borrowers’ repayments updates at each given time and date.

     

  • 20. Are there any tax implications for me that I need to be aware of when I lend on Pezesha?
     

    Yes. Returns/Revenues that you earn on Pezesha will be considered part of your taxable income.

  • 21. DISCLAIMER: Deducting Withholding Tax (WHT) for lenders:
     

    As from the month of June 2017, Pezesha started deducting 15% Withholding Tax for all interest earned by lenders on our platform. This includes all interest on penalties accrued from late borrowers. This is a mandatory requirement by law under paragraph 5 of the third schedule of the income Tax Act. Lenders Wallet balance will be less WHT deductions. You can now see all the WHT from your dashboard on the app and when you click on it you will see the fine details of all loans and their deductions accordingly.  Kindly note that we will be issuing you the Withholding Tax Certificate end of the year. That said, we are always flexible to issue it upon request by a lender.

  • 22. Who owns Pezesha?
     

    Pezesha is owned and run by Kenyans who have 10+ years of experience in the credit and business sector. The Pezesha Team is made up of local individuals and local lenders whose aim is to empower other fellow Kenyans, ensuring equal opportunities and financial inclusion for all Kenyans.

  • 23. I have more questions – does Pezesha have a customer care service?
     

    Yes. Please send us any questions or enquiries that you may have to lenders@pezesha.com and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

  • 24. As a foreigner can I become a lender in Pezesha platform ?
     

    Yes, as a foreign investor you have two options for lending on our platform; either as a return-based lender or as a philanthropic lender.

    The process is a bit different compared to the way we onboard local lenders. The terms remain the same as we currently have with our local lenders as stated here on this link (https://pezesha.com/individuals/) but the process of topping up to your Pezesha wallet is different.

    You will be required to first review and sign off our lender terms and conditions agreement which we will send to you upon request. Then we will provide our bank details information for your lending amount disbursement. Once we as Pezesha receive your funds, we will load them to your wallet less taxes or any charges incurred during the transfer. After creating your account the funds will be topped up to your Pezesha wallet and be reflected in real-time.

    From there you will be able to have full transparency. You will see that we have topped up all your funds, you will see the borrowers you have lent to in line with your preferred portfolio preference setting, their personal details and also their repayment progress from a month to month basis.

    If you need more information and reporting, we will always be at your disposal.

  • 1. What is Pezesha?
     

    Pezesha’s name comes from the two acronyms Pesa and Wezesha to mean Financial Empowerment in Swahili. We are all about Kenyans empowering other fellow Kenyans. We connect lenders to borrowers and facilitate loans on affordable and fair terms. 

  • 2. Give an example of how Pezesha works
     

    Mary needs Ksh. 5,000 ($50) to buy weekly stock for her small kiosk in a low income neighbourhood in Nairobi. She does not have the cash available to buy her products and therefore has to temporarily close, despite knowing she would have Ksh. 10,000 in a month’s time from her revenues.

    Through our mobile platform, Mary requests a loan from Pezesha, who conduct an automated credit score in 30 seconds through robust verified data sources, and then sources the amount from Kenyans with idle/spare capital.

    Mary can then grow her business, and improve her credit rating, paying back with mobile money.

  • 3. Who owns Pezesha?
     

    Pezesha is owned and run by Kenyans who have 10+ years of experience in the credit and business sector. The Pezesha Team is made up of local individuals and local lenders whose aim is to empower other fellow Kenyans, ensuring equal opportunities and financial inclusion for all Kenyans.

  • 4. Why Pezesha and not the other mobile lending platforms in the market?
     

    We provide you with a fair credit score. We offer financial education so that you can manage your finances responsibly. This will also to help to improve your credit score and borrow more money at lower interest rates. We connect with you to a marketplace of lenders giving you choice in where you take your loan from. We help you move up the financial ladder, grow your business and improve your life. We connect you with other Kenyans and so you contribute to marketplace empowering fellow Kenyans.

  • 5. What are the criteria for borrowing with Pezesha?
     
    • You need to have a valid National ID
    • You need to have a Safaricom line with a registered M-PESA number
  • 6. What is the process of borrowing a loan from Pezesha?
     
    • Register and apply for a loan either via SMS or our app
    • Pezesha assesses borrower application and credit scores in real time using borrower’s transaction data, self-reported data and credit bureau data
    • Pezesha declines or approves borrower’s application
  • 7. Are there any other charges/fees attached to my loan?
     
    • Service charge fees varying from Kshs. 50 to  Kshs. 150, depending upon the loan size you take. This includes the loan processing and standard M-PESA charges for sending money
    • Facilitation fees varying in value depending on the loan size you take. For example, for a Kshs. 5,000 loan the fee is 8% and for a Kshs. 500 loan the fee is 10%.
    • Penalty charges will only result if you are late in your loan repayment
  • 8. Is the information I provide during the loan application process safe and secure with Pezesha?
     

    Yes. We keep your information safe and confidential. Our lenders will not have access to your contact details as we do the collections service on their behalf.

  • 9. Why do you need my M-PESA statements and business information?
     

    This information is needed only for the purposes of helping us provide you with a credit score so that you can loan with us. If you are not willing to provide this information, then you may not be able to qualify for a loan and your loan application may be rejected.

  • 10. How do I make loan repayments?
     

    All your loan repayments are done through M-PESA by following the instructions below:

    • Go to sim toolkit
    • Go to your M-PESA Menu and scroll down to “Lipa Na M-PESA”.
    • Select “PayBill”.
    • Select “Business Number” and enter 898927.
    • Select “Account Number” and enter your ID Number that you used to register on Pezesha.
    • Enter the amount you want to repay.
    • Enter your M-PESA PIN and send.
    • You will then get an SMS notification to alert you that you have successfully paid to Pezesha Africa Limited.

    Sim toolkit ---> M-PESA ---> Lipa na M-PESA ---> Paybill ---> Business No. (898927) ----> Account No.(Enter your ID Number) ---> Amount ---> Your Pin No ---> Send.

    NOTE: All repayment SHOULD be done through Pezesha’s PayBill and NOT directly to the Agent’s phone number.

  • 11. Can someone else make my loan repayment on my behalf/using their own phone number?
     

    Yes! Someone else may make the loan repayment on your behalf using their own phone number by sending the loan amount due to the PayBill 898927. However, you have to give them your ID number that you used for the loan application and tell them to use that as the Account Number.

  • 12. How often do I need to repay my loan?
     

    We encourage you to repay your loan in weekly installments so that you can earn points to receive a bigger repeat loan with us; this will improve your credit scoring. You also have the flexibility to repay your loan in 30 days but then you deny yourself faster loans and quicker growth of your business so it's advisable you pay before the 30 days.

  • 13. Will Pezesha remind me about my loan repayments before its due date?
     

    Yes. The moment we disburse your loan amount to your phone, you will receive the first SMS from us detailing your repayment schedule. In addition, we will be sending you bi-weekly reminders via SMS notifications. We however advise you to also keep your own record of when you are supposed to make your repayments to avoid late payments and penalties.

  • 14. When I repay my first loan on time, how do I get another loan?
     

    You qualify for a repeat (second) loan once you have fully cleared your first loan repayments on time. You will also earn points that will qualify you for larger loans as well as improved credit scoring that will attract more lenders to fund your loan faster on the marketplace. We will give you SMS instructions on how to apply for a second loan. It's an easy and straightforward process that will take you less than 5 minutes. Please contact us through our Email: help@pezesha.com and we will follow up with you for more details.

  • 15. What happens if I never repay my Pezesha loan?
     

    If you completely default - that is if you never repay - we will report and blacklist you on Credit Reference Bureau (CRB). This will means your opportunity to get a loan elsewhere (including with M-Shwari), will be very difficult. We will also report you to external debt collectors who may come to your location to claim an equivalent asset (s) to cover and pay for your loan. You will not be able to borrow from Pezesha again.

    For info on late payments, see question 20.

  • 16. Can I or my Chama also be a lender?
     

    Yes! Both you and your Chama can also be a lenders in the near future by investing with us to generate compelling returns that you can then plough back into your business. Please see our individuals lending page if you would like to be a lender, and the institutions lending page if your Chama would like to be a lender.

  • 17. What if I have more questions or need clarifications on Pezesha Loan?
     

    Please do not hesitate to contact us between 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m, Monday to Friday through our email at help@pezesha.com and we will respond within 24 hours.

  • 18. How do I activate my login with the verification code?
     

    verification code will have been sent to the number used to register on the Pezesha platform. Enter this code and then click ‘Verify.’

  • 19. What does my credit score mean?
     

    It's a statistical figure that determines the credit worthiness of a borrower. That is, the capability and willingness of the borrower to repay a loan.

    The higher the credit score the better. If you repay loans on time, your score will be positively affected. If you repay loans late, your score will be negatively affected.

    The score is usually generated through a variety of data points, including the borrowers previous credit history, as well as psychometric testing from consumer data.

  • 20. What are the penalties for late payments?
     

    Penalties vary depending on the size of loan, and the degree of lateness of the payment.

    Larger loans and later payments result in larger penalties. For example:

    A Ksh 1,000 loan that is paid 5 days late will result in a penalty charge of Ksh 125.

    A Ksh 10,000 loan this paid 40 days late will result in a penalty charge of Ksh 750.

  • 21. What do I do if I get a “Network Error” when trying to log in?
     

    This means the device is not able to reach our servers. Please retry after a few minutes.

  • 22. How do I reset my password on the app?
     

    Enter the app log-in page, enter your phone number, click on forgot your password, and follow further instructions.

  • 23. How do I register as a borrower?
     

    You can register in two ways

    1. Through our App: Download our Pezesha application from the Google Play Store or Apple Store and follow the registration instructions

    2. Via SMS: Text Pezesha to 22235 and follow instructions.

  • 24. How do I change my account from lender to borrower?
     

    Open the Pezesha application and register afresh as a borrower.

  • 25. Why am I being asked to clear a loan when I am yet to receive the funds?
     

    This will happen if you have sent two requests for a loan, which you might have done because you have not yet received the funds for your original request.

    Please be patient and wait for the funds for the original loan request.

  • 26. What do I need to upload to get my account verified?
     

    We require you to upload a photo taken in real time (i.e. a photo taken at the exact time your account is being verified), and also a photo of the front part of your national ID card.

  • 27. What do I do if I get “wrong password error” once I upload my MPESA statement?
     

    Please send the MPESA statement to help@pezesha.com, and we will upload it from our end.

  • 28. What do I do if I receive an “invalid ID” message? (SMS)
     

    Please verify that the national ID you entered is correct, i.e as it appears on your national ID card, and that the names you entered are also as they appear on the national ID.

  • 29. How do I upload an MPESA statement through SMS?
     

    SMS borrower are normally required to send their MPESA statements to scorepap@gmail.com. This will normally be requested if they have a low credit score that does not make them eligible for loans.

  • 1. What are the criteria for becoming a Pezesha Agent?
     
    • Proof of a good track record in your residential area/community
    • Must be part of a Chama or youth leader from a well known youth group in their community
    • Have or know of an existing network of low income borrowers running micro businesses and leaders like chiefs in your area.
    • Must have experience working with groups/Chamas or field mobilization
    • Must have a smartphone
    • Must have a high level of integrity and transparency in handling borrowers
    • Must be fluent in Swahili and be able to read and understand English
    • Hardworking and Friendly
    • Demonstrable ability to carry out collections
  • 2. What are the benefits of a Pezesha Agent?
     
    • Rewarding commissions based on performance on recruitment of quality borrowers and their timely repayments
    • Financial empowerment and training
    • Access to working capital if in a business.
  • 3. What is the process of becoming a Pezesha Agent?
     
    • Email us through lenders@pezesha.com  with the word “PEZESHA AGENT” and someone from our team will follow up with you.
    • Pre-screening, vetting and profiling following our set criteria
    • Education and Training on our products/services as well as our terms and conditions
    • Following successful completion of the training and a satisfactory outcome, one is qualified and empowered as a Pezesha agent in their location.
  • 4. What are the responsibilities of a Pezesha Agent?
     
    • Identifying and vetting quality borrowers running micro businesses in low income communities, preferably where they reside
    • Educating the borrowers on Pezesha and its loan products
    • Assist in on boarding and consolidating new quality borrowers through Pezesha application process
    • Loan collections and following up on borrowers
    • Assist in collection of additional data sets as required during and post loan application