In yet another bid to increase financial services, from today, M-Pesa customers will have access to interest bearing saving accounts and be able to take out small loans through a new service, called M-Shwari.
This is a strategic cooperation between, Safaricom, Vodafone and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA). Safaricom customers can sign up to the M-Shwari interest bearing savings account, provided by CBA, directly through the M-Pesa menu on their phone. There are no forms to complete or need to visit a bank branch.
M-Pesa customers can also apply to CBA for a mini-loan, again directly from their phone. Based on the individual customer’s M-Pesa transactions and savings history, CBA will determine the customer’s eligibility. The loan money is sent by CBA to the customer’s M-Pesa account immediately, highlighting the convenience and simplicity of M-Shwari.
According to Michael Joseph, Director for M-Pesa within Vodafone Group; “M-Shwari is a transformational service. Saving is no longer the privilege of an elite; all Kenyans can now save, even the smallest amounts and at their own pace. M-Shwari creates a safe environment for customers to borrow small amounts and links the amounts of credit available to the ability to save. Through their M-Shwari savings account, M-Pesa customers are empowered to manage their financial lives”.
He also noted that, “Working with CBA means having access to banking expertise in savings and loans and allowing M-Pesa customers to earn interest from their savings”.
M-Shwari is a mobile proposition, which leverages the power of mobile communications to provide simple and valuable access to banking services. Based on the Kenyan experience the innovation will be considered for other markets.
Mobile Money is taking the industry to greater heights and consumers can only anticipate the next move in this cut-throat competitive market.