Maisha Microfinance has enrolled 50,000 new members and disbursed 20,000 loans, helped by the rapid adoption of mobile-based payment technologies in the Kenyan market.
Ireneus Gichana, the Maisha Microfinance chief executive, said the lender’s newly launched mobile loans platform M-Fanisi had received 2,000 loan applications daily during the 45-day pilot period.
“During the 45-day pilot period, we realised that our partnership with Airtel Money and Bluesky Consultants helped us reach more people than before,” Mr Gichana said, adding that M-Fanisi’s launch was a major milestone for Maisha Microfinance Bank which was the first micro-finance institution to start a mobile phone-based savings and loans facility.
Applicants for M-Fanisi phone account must be Airtel network users.
The M-Fanisi platform enables users to save money as well as qualify for a seven- day loan that attracts a 3.3 per cent interest inclusive of excise duty. A 14-day loan from the same platform attracts 5.5 per cent interest while a 30 day loan is available at 8.25 per cent interest.
Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Chief Executive Habil Olaka welcomed the new product saying it could drive financial inclusion, enabling small traders to comfortably access small loans to fund their operations and pay via mobile phones.