CC image coutersy of rogiro on Flickr
Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) have announced plans to boost the number of M-Shwari users, increasing the number of people that have access to formal banking solutions.
M-Shwari make use of Safaricom’s M-Pesa system and allows users to take out loans and save money on their mobile phone.
The organisations will be running a competition for new and existing users of M-Shwari with the prize money of over KSh5 million (US$58,000) to be won.
“M-Shwari has registered immense success since it was launched in November 2012. So far loans amounting to over KSh7.8 billion (US$92 million) disbursed, out of the more than KSh24 billion [US$278 million] that has been deposited into customers M-Shwari accounts. One wonders where these amounts would have been had it not been for M-Shwari,” said Safaricom chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Collymore.
Collymore said mobile technology not only allows for communications but for economic and social development.
In August, the Kenya Financial Sector Stability Report 2012 said M-Shwari had boosted the total number of bank accounts in Kenya.
However, HumanIPO reported last month CBA had passed the details of more than 140,000 defaulters on loans to credit reference bureaus.
HumanIPO reported last month Airtel Kenya is set to launch a mobile loans service to challenge M-Shwari, more than a year after a partner sued Safaricom for allegedly stealing the idea.