Watu Credit Finds Niche in Asset Financing


The non-bank finance company is currently financing motorbikes and three wheelers, thus empowering the riders to become owners of their work asset

Watu Credit Limited is a fast growing non-bank finance company. Headquartered in Mombasa, Kenya, Watu Credit aims to become the leading East African provider of a broad set of inclusive financial products, delivered in a fast, efficient and professional manner. The Company commenced its operations in October 2015, with the clear vision to be the best in class provider of short and medium-term loan products.

The company prides itself in offering fully cash-less services for loan disbursement and collection, as well as 24-hour access for clients to their account balances. We are currently a team of more than 100 highly motivated staff members.

Product offering

Watu Credit offers a range of products like asset financing (motorcycles and three-wheelers) and group lending products (short-term and business loans). The latter mainly targets women groups in coastal Kenya region.

However, our business focus is on asset financing market. We are actively engaging in financing motorbikes and three wheelers, thus empowering the riders to become owners of their work asset. This is a large market for us and we have already expanded geographically beyond coastal Kenya and are present both in Central and Western Kenya. We see this is a market with a huge potential that we are yet to cover completely.

So far, the company has presence in Nairobi, Malindi, Nakuru, and Mombasa (Town) with Eldoret coming soon.

Why Watu Credit?
Watu Credit main advantage is speed and quality of service. We have tailored our business model on what the market in general was lacking. We offer clients unparalleled service for asset financing segment – from time of walk in to getting your asset it can be as little as a couple of hours. Obviously this would not be possible without effective processes and modern technologies. We have completely eliminated any cash transactions and only rely on electronic money transfers, almost exclusively, Mpesa. This alone eliminates layers of inefficient operations, improves service speed, quality and accuracy. But more than that we have developed a number of our own systems that contribute to process automation both for disbursals and collections and that allows us managing our human resources wisely.

Industry trends
When we started offering asset financing product, there were no many players in the industry that were actively involved in this line of business. In many ways that can be explained that the asset financing is a very labour intensive product to manage and one that has multiple additional components that have to be taken into account (asset insurance, for example). We see that there is competition springing up in the market by companies that has followed more or less our business model. And there is nothing secretive in the model and as it works, it is more how you implement it. At the end of the day it is not only interest rate that counts but the whole package like client experience and speed. We are not complacent however, and do understand that this is ever evolving sector and to stay competitive, we always have to be one step ahead of our competitors. This is why we are developing new products exclusively for our existing customers and offering loyalty benefits for our long term clients. We can only expect this segment – almost personalized financial services – to further augment.

Future plans
We are certainly a company that is still developing and as any business to be on top of the game, you have to constantly re-invent yourself. We are working to strengthen our current market position but looking even further to develop new and interesting product lines, new locations and target the underserved market needs. Likewise we are continuing to maintain relationships with our existing clients and carefully listening to their needs and preferences which very often lead to new and innovative services that we can offer.

By Andris Kaneps, Director, Watu Credit