Chinese-owned OKash refutes claims of harassing Kenyans to recover debts

OKash. [Photo by TechCabal]

Chinese-owned mobile loan platform OKash has refuted allegations of harassing defaulters.

This is after the Digital Lenders Association of Kenya (DLAK) publicly hit out at the firm over alleged unprofessionalism in handling defaulters.

OKash said that a series of accusations published by DLAK on Tuesday were false.

The management of the mobile money lending app said that DLAK relied on information published on social media on alleged rogue measures that they apply to recover bad debts.

OKash in a rejoinder said that it reaches out to a referee as indicated when taking a loan in case the original borrower defaults. It said this is not social shaming.

“The OKash terms and conditions clearly state that when a user initially registers in the OKash app, they provide the service with contact information from their reference number or referee which is contacted only in case the original borrower becomes unreachable,” a statement from OKash read in part.

However, DLAK maintained that this practise is unethical and against Data Protection laws in the country.

“Not only does this behaviour go against Kenyan data protection laws, but it reeks of indignity. By reaching out to a customer’s contact list, Opesa and OKash rob the individual of basic dignity and consumer rights. This can have long term effects on their psychological well-being and damage relations that may have taken years to build” said DLAK Chairman Robert Masinde.

This is not the first time OKash owned by the digital publisher, Opera Group has found itself on the firing line.

In 2018, it found itself mired in controversy for allegedly harassing a defaulter by making calls to his contacts.

DLAK’s report comes amid an ongoing debate to regulate the sector which lacks existing laws to govern it.

The Central Bank of Kenya has promised to build a framework to regulate this sector.