Credit Management Practices and Lending Decision by Digital Financial Firms in Kenya
Nthiga, Anne Karimi
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Digitalization and digital technology are causing fundamental changes in many parts of society and encouraging unprecedented creativity across a wide range of sectors. With the rising digitization of companies and their ecosystems, digital innovation creates difficulties and necessitates the adaptation of incumbent organizations. Kenya has seen technical advancements in the financial industry, particularly in the area of digital credit lending. Most Kenyans relied on informal lenders (shylocks) as well as family and friends for loans prior to the introduction of digital lending. Banking services were only available to the wealthy or those who had collateral and could afford to pay the fees imposed to gain access to bank branches. The digital lending services are conveyed by a range of providers and target all individuals who have the ability to utilize them, which includes the unbanked, the disadvantaged in the society like the poor, the disabled and other excluded populations. It is to be noted that the traditional banking business was only accessible to the financially stable and those who had collateral and could access the bank branches and afford to repay the loans together with the interest and fees chargeable. This study aimed to understand credit management practices on lending decisions by digital financial firms in Kenya. The dependent variable under consideration was lending decision, the independent variables were credit scoring, loan review practices, consumer protection and financial literacy. A descriptive research design was employed to obtain a more comprehensive response. 12 digital financial firms were considered for the target population and a sample of 36 respondents were used for sample scope. The data for the study was collected via questionnaires. SPSS was used for editing and coding the gathered data in order to analyze it. Methods of descriptive and inferential analysis were used. Frequencies, means, percentages, and standard deviation were used in the descriptive analysis. Correlation tests, regression tests, and ANOVA tests were used for inferential analysis. The results of the analysis were provided in the form of charts, tables, and graphs. The data set was subjected to a linear regression analysis. The Pearson Product Moment was used to evaluate the data, and the variables' correlation coefficient (R) and coefficient of determination (R2) were calculated. According to the linear regression model, every independent variable had a positive coefficient, as evidenced by a positive relationship between the dependent variable (lending choices) and the independent factors (credit scoring, loan review practices, consumer protection and financial literacy). The R Squared value was 0.887, indicating that the independent variables for the study, credit scoring, loan review processes, consumer protection, and financial literacy, explained 88.7% of the changes in lending choices. Credit scoring had a substantial impact on loan decisions made by digital financial businesses, according to the research. Lending decisions were also influenced by loan screening processes. Furthermore, the study found that consumer protection and financial literacy have a substantial impact on digital financial businesses' lending decisions.