Safaricom is planning to further its goal of financial inclusion by launching a mobile money based credit scheme. The mobile services provider will be launching a service called M-Shwari which, from the explanations, look like a replacement to M-Kesho (done in partnership with Equity Bank).
According to an insider at Safaricom, “M-Shwari is an enhancement of M-Kesho.”
The service is not only a credit scheme but also a savings scheme according to an insider at Safaricom. The service is a partnership between Safaricom and CBA where users will save a minimum of Ksh 10 to be able to enjoy credit facilities from the service. The users will be able to gain credit after a minimum of 6 months usage. The credit facilities will be accorded to the users who will met some minimum conditions during the 6-months usage. It will also vary on the usage of the service.
I have just been informed that a saving of between Ksh 10 – 10,000 will attract an interest of up to 2% (not clear if it is per year or per month).
This move might scare banks with many which have feared that M-Pesa is replacing banks. Banks have previously called for the regulation and control of what can be done of M-Pesa citing reasons as flimsy as that “M-Pesa is unsafe.”
Let’s wait for the launch tomorrow and get the details.