NCBA-owned mobile lending platform M-Shwari tops the list of digital lenders controlling 34 percent market share, according to disclosures from the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

The regulator’s data shows M-Shwari is followed by Fuliza at 25 percent, KCB M-Pesa at 15 per cent, Tala at 13 per cent, Branch at nine percent and others at four percent.

The regulator made the disclosure in connection with its approval of Nigerian fintech Moniepoint Inc’s full buyout of Kopo Kopo, a mobile payments platform operating in Kenya.

The CAK said in a statement the merger would not negatively affect the competitiveness of other players in the digital credit market.

The transaction value was not cited but the agency says the combined turnover is above Sh1 billion.

“The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the proposed acquisition of 100 percent shares in Kopo Kopo Inc by Moniepoint Inc unconditionally,” said CAK in a statement on Tuesday.

Before the CAK approval, Moniepoint incorporated in the United States did not have any undertaking in Kenya but the company is expanding to the country soon.

“The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the proposed acquisition of 100 percent shares in Kopo Kopo Inc. by Moniepoint Inc. unconditionally,” said the State agency.

The CAK said the merger would not affect other digital lenders, including M-Shwari as it falls among the other four percent of the market share.

“With regard to the proposed merger, the target entity is ranked among firms with a combined market share of four percent… Premised on this, the proposed transaction is unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the market for the provision of digital credit.”

Safaricom offers M-Shwari in partnership with NCBA Bank Kenya as a savings and loan service that enables M-Pesa customers to save, access credit and earn interest.

The overdraft Fuliza offered in partnership with NCBA and KCB Bank Kenya and the telco allows M-Pesa customers to complete their transactions when they have insufficient funds in their mobile wallet.

Borrowers use the facility to meet their short-term needs, including buying food and paying bills. Small businesses also use the overdraft to access working capital and restock their goods.

The CAK says the survey it conducted revealed that the market is diverse in terms of the number of providers, but most consumers primarily use one of the three M-Pesa-affiliated loan products — M-Shwari, KCB-M-Pesa and Fuliza.

The Central Bank of Kenya has so far licensed 32 digital lenders.