M-Shwari to unveil new features for customers as it marks 5th anniversary

Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom have marked the 5th anniversary of M-Shwari, Kenya’s first mobile lending and saving solution which has been a game-changer in the industry providing financial services to over 21 million Kenyans.

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 therefore empowering Kenyans financially and deepening financial inclusion in Kenya.

(TOP: Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom’s Director of Consumer Business and Isaac Awuondo, Group MD, CBA).  ​

As part of the milestone 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. This move is consistent with the industry direction to improve customer access and cost of credit to customers that have a positive credit history. The partners – Safaricom and CBA – shall also be introducing a rebate on the M-Shwari facility fee to all M-Shwari customers that repay their loans within 10 days.

In addition to the pricing improvements, look out for a better M-Shwari experience in the month of January when M-Shwari shall also be accessible from the MySafaricom App.

“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. M-Shwari has provided a banking service that is convenient, accessible and secure that has proved to be a very relevant substitute to the informal savings and credit alternatives that were used across the country, before its launch. 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 Isaac Awuondo, Group MD, CBA.

He said: “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.”

Speaking during the event, 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 said: “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 November 27, 2012 as a mobile savings and loans solution for M-Pesa customers. Today, the platform has enrolled 21.1 million in Kenya and since inception, with more than Kshs 230 billion being disbursed in loans over the 5 years. The average loan per customer is an average of Kshs 3,300 per customer while savings by customers currently stand at more than Kshs 12.6 billion.


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