Can Digital Loans Deliver?
Tavneet Suri, MIT Sloan School of Management
Take Up and Impacts of Digital Loans in Kenya
Developing world lenders are taking advantage of fintech tools to create fully digital loans on mobile phones. We investigate the take up and impacts of one of the most popular digital loan products, M-Shwari in Kenya, using a regression discontinuity design. While 34% of those eligible for the loan take it, this does not substitute for other formal or informal credit. The loans improve household resilience against shocks and increase their propensity to spend on education. These digital loans could therefore be an important way to improve financial access, but they are not a panacea for greater credit market failures.