Online microlending in Kazakhstan has been steadily growing in the past few years. In 2015, it amounted to KZT 2.5 billion. In 2016, this figure rose to KZT 8.9 billion, and in the first nine months of 2017, it amounted to KZT 22 billion. For 2018, online microlending growth could be 200-300%, reaching as high as KZT 100 billion in value. The fundamental reason for this growth is the increase in demand for small, short-term loans as well as the emerging internet-based environment that is increasing its penetration in the country.
This anticipated growth is likely to also give rise to more online lending companies, with six or seven expected to begin operations in Kazakhstan this year. Given the boom the industry is experiencing, it is important that proper regulations come into force in order to ensure the online lending market is legal and transparent and that consumers are protected. If properly regulated, online lending could also help reduce many people’s reliance on illegal, black and gray market alternatives.