[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ommercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom yesterday marked the 5th anniversary of M-Shwari, Kenya’s first mobile lending and saving solution with over 21 million subscribers.
Since the inception of M-PESA in 2007, mobile money has dramatically improved the convenience, reliability, and flexibility of basic financial services. M-Shwari has continued this trend by providing a tool to manage daily cash flows and thus empowering Kenyans financially and deepening financial inclusion.
As part of the celebration, M-Shwari will be introducing segmented pricing and enhancement to the customer experience. From next week, customers who have exhibited good savings and loan repayment behaviour will enjoy improved pricing in line with industry direction to improve customer access and cost of credit to customers with positive credit history.
M-Shwari will also be introducing a rebate on fees to all customers who repay their loans within 10 days.
“Five years ago, we embarked on a journey into uncharted territory when we launched the first mobile-based savings and loans product in Kenya,” said Isaac Awuondo, Group Managing Director, CBA. “The true measure of success for us has been in the impact it has had on the ordinary Kenyan.”
He said M-Shwari has provided a banking service that is convenient, accessible and secure that has proved to be a relevant substitute to the informal savings and credit alternatives. “M-Shwari is another Proudly Kenyan innovation, that has now been rolled out to 4 other African markets, embraced by over 31 million customers,” said Mr Awuondo.
Speaking during the event, Ms Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s Director for Consumer Business said M-Shwari will soon be accessible on the Safaricom App, which currently has over 1.3 million downloads.
“This partnership is one of the best illustrations of what two like-minded organisations can do, if they keep their focus on improving the lives of their customers,” she said.
“We commit to continue playing our part in ensuring that Kenya continues to be one of the best case studies for financial inclusion globally.”
M-Shwari was launched on 27th November 2012, as a mobile savings and loans solution for M-Pesa customers. Today it has enrolled 21.1 million in Kenya and since inception, more than Ksh 230 billion has been disbursed in loans. The average loan per customer is Ksh3,300. Savings by customers currently stand at more than Ksh12.6 billion.