From today, M-Pesa customers in Kenya will have access to interest bearing saving accounts and have the ability to take out small loans through a new service, called M-Shwari. This is the next step in the M-Pesa story of increasing further access to a wider range of financial services and is the result of a new strategic cooperation between Vodafone, Safaricom 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 and no 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 determines the customer’s eligibility. The loan money is sent by CBA to the customer’s M-Pesa account immediately, again emphasising the convenience and simplicity of M-Shwari.
Working alongside Safaricom and CBA, Vodafone has provided the functionality of M-Shwari and designed the best user experience.
Michael Joseph, Director for M-Pesa within Vodafone Group, says: ‘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 adds: ’Working with CBA meant having access to banking expertise in savings and loans and allowing M-Pesa customers to earn interest from their savings. This is an important step forward for millions of M-Pesa customers in Kenya.’
M-Shwari is a truly mobile proposition, which leverages the power of mobile communications to provide simple and valuable access to banking services. Michael Joseph explains: ‘Based on our experience in Kenya, we will look to take this innovation to other markets’.
For further information:
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Vodafone is one of the world's largest mobile communications companies by revenue with approximately 407 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as of 30 September 2012. Vodafone currently has equity interests in over 30 countries across five continents and more than 50 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com
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