Safaricom #ticker:SCOM and Commercial Bank of Africa’s (CBA) virtual banking platform M-Shwari is marking five years on Wednesday with registered customers having crossed the 18 million mark.
The M-Shwari service, run by the telecoms giant and the privately held lender under the mobile money platform M-Pesa, was rolled out five years ago as a credit facility for those who have been locked out of the loans market for lack of collateral and credit history.
It was positioned as a pioneer financial service that promotes a culture of saving among ordinary Kenyans and allows those with no collateral to access loans through their mobile phones.
In a statement to the media on the event today, the two companies said they would announce product enhancements.
“Kenya’s premier mobile lending and savings proposition, M-Shwari will tomorrow (today) mark its fifth anniversary, at an event in which CBA and Safaricom will announce some product enhancements geared at deepening financial inclusion further, and reward customers for their loyalty,” read part of the statement.
The total cumulative loans issued under M-Shwari stood at Sh7.37 billion per month as at March this year compared to Sh6.3 billion per month in March 2016.
As at March, registered customers of the platform stood at 18.33 million compared to 13.99 million in the same period last year.
M-Shwari charges a one-off facility fee of 7.5 per cent on the loan.
The Banking (Amendment) Act, 2016, which came into force on September 14 last year, caps loan charges at four percentage points above the Central Bank Rate (CBR), presently standing at 10 per cent, and requires lenders to pay interest of at least 70 per cent of the CBR on term deposits.