UBAPESA – The Peer-to-Peer Mobile Lending App That Was Too Good To Be True

It was early March 2018 when a new entrant burst into the mobile lending scene with a model so ingenious it would surely put it miles ahead of the other competitors in the similar field.

A first of its kind in Kenya, its pilot phase was exclusively shared between friends and family of the creators before it was let loose to the general public who fully embraced it with both gratitude and scepticism alike.

Its unique trait offering its users the ability to lend and borrow freely according to one’s credit score and credit limit.

How to register.

– To register to the service, one had to download the app via https://bit.ly/2ZcaMpT and install it.

– Enter the required details.

– Agree to the terms and conditions.


The service comprised of 2 sectors i.e lenders and borrowers.

-The service offered a minimum amount of KES 500 to a maximum amount of KES 7,000 for a period of either 10 days, 20 days and 30 days.

– The facilitation fees also varied according to the repayment durations i.e 10 days ( 8% ), 20 days ( 9% ) and 30 days ( 10% )

– The service had an option of single and multi-lending.

– The service had an option of manual and automatic matching requests.

How it worked.


Once you login to the app,

  • Click on BORROW option
  • Select the amount to borrow ( this was limited to your loan limit )
  • Select the repayment period either 10, 20 or 30 days
  • Submit.

-You would then receive the funds in your Ubapesa account ( depending on whether your request was manual or auto-matched )


Once you login to the app,

  • Deposit amount to your Ubapesa account.
  • Click on LEND option.
  • Select the amount to lend.
  • Select whether to lend to a single or multiple borrowers.i.e if you had KES 500 to lend you could give the whole amount to 1 person ( single ) or distribute it among many borrowers ( multi-lending )
  • Type in the credit score of the borrower you would like to lend to.
  • Select repayment period
  • Submit.

-The above is applicable to lenders who wanted the system to auto-match requests according to your requirements.

– If you needed the manual option, all you need is to manually pick a borrower from the ‘LEND TO’ section of the app and they would receive the funds.

– The app was particularly popular with the unemployed or those who needed an extra income since lenders would earn commissions through repayments i.e the higher you lend, the higher the commission you received. In short, the app created job opportunities for many who fully invested in it.

– However, this was to be short-lived because on November 19, 2018 users received a notice from the Ubapesa official  facebook page.

– This was indeed a big blow to all those who had invested in the app. To-date the only active lenders are UBAPESA but occasionally one can spot 1 or 2 borrowers appearing which is an assuring sign that the service might soon get back on track. If not, RIP.

Von Umpiantu

You can't be late until you show up.