Telecoms giant Safaricom says it is working on reducing charges on its mobile loan products like M-Shwari and Fuliza to make life easier for its customers.
The telco is saying this against the backdrop of a frenzy to borrow from mobile platforms, many of them unregulated and one of the reasons the President chose to remove the three-year old capping of bank borrowing interest.
It is commendable that Safaricom has realised that its customers were an unbearable burden. The charges are prohibitive; for example, Sh1,000 Fuliza loan on an annualised rate comes to 372 percent, almost 29 times more expensive than the 13 percent on the capped borrowing.
Two, because the telco is a major player, its decision will most certainly encourage the other smaller players to follow suit in the fight for more customers, thus easing the pressure on the borrower who does not take the commercial bank loans.
We, therefore, think that it takes major players like Safaricom to set the tone. Although the telco has not indicated when the cuts will come, we urge them to do it as fast as possible.