As part of marking the 5th anniversary of mobile lending and saving platform M-Shwari, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom will be introducing segmented pricing and seeking even more ways of enhancing the customer experience.
Largely seen as Kenya’s first mobile lending and saving solution, M-Shwari has been a game-changer in the industry and today provides financial services to an estimated number of over 21 million Kenyans. Since the inception of M-PESA in 2007, M-Shwari has sought to build on improving the levels of convenience and flexibility of financial services by providing a tool to manage daily cash flows and further deepen financial inclusion in Kenya.
From next week, M-Shwari customers who have exhibited good savings and loan repayment behaviour will enjoy improved pricing in a move consistent with the industry direction to improve customer access and the cost of credit to customers that have a positive credit history.
The CBA Group Managing Director Mr. Isaac Awuondo also announced that they would be introducing a rebate on the M-Shwari facility fee to all M-Shwari customers that 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. The true measure of success for us has been in the impact it has had on the ordinary Kenyan,” said Awuondo, adding that, “These product enhancements are an illustration of investment in research, our deeper understanding of customer behaviour and benefits of leveraging technology to effectively address customer needs. Through these, we are able to make an even bigger contribution in deepening financial inclusion in Kenya.”
On her part, Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s Director for Consumer Business said that M-Shwari will soon be accessible on the Safaricom App, which currently has over 1.3 million downloads. She remarked, “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. 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. According to CBA, 21.1 million Kenyans are now enrolled and since inception, more than KES 230 billion has been disbursed in loans over the 5 years. The average loan per customer is an average of Kes. 3,300 per customer. Savings by customers currently stand at more than Kes. 12.6 billion.