M-Shwari Nets Ksh 150 Million in 3 Weeks as Safaricom Disputes Stealing the Innovation

Safaricom and Commercial Bank of Africa launched M-Shwari just 3 weeks ago. But as of yesterday, the two companies have netted as much a Ksh 150 million in savings while Commercial Bank of Africa have an additional 645, 000 in clients.

Acording to a joint statement from Safaricom and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), the service which rides on Safaricom’s M-PESA platform and launched on November 27th is seeing an average of 40,000 Kenyans sign up to the service daily. This makes the service one of of the most compelling financial services propositions in recent years.

Isaac Awuondo, CBA’s Group Managing Director says that M-Shwari’s take up so far is laying the foundations of what is likely to become a revolution in the financial system and a sneak preview to the future and rapidly changing world of mobile banking.

“We are trying to encourage a savings culture. No economy can develop in an effective manner without a strong savings culture,” Says Isaac Awuondo, CBA Group’s Managing Director.

The firms have also revealed that M-Shwari has received overwhelming support from the youth with those in the ages of 26-35 forming 43.5%of the current customer base. Men dominate the users of the service at 68%, currently using M-Shwari to meet short-term obligations. Savings on M-Shwari stand at over Kshs 150 million while loans currently stand at over Kshs 50 Million with CBA saying that “healthy repayment trends already noted.”

M-Shwar enables customers to save as little as Sh1 and earn interest rate of up to 5 per cent, while eligible borrowers seeking amounts for as little as Sh100will only be charged a one-time processing fee of 7.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Safaricom is fighting the challenge by Faulu that it stole the M-Shwari idea from the latter. The company’s CEO said in a statement;

………………………………………………….. Safaricom Ltd seeks to clarify that M-Shwari is a banking product of the Commercial Bank of Africa and authorised as such by the Central Bank of Kenya.  

………………Safaricom Ltd has had a strong focus on Financial Inclusivity since 2007, when it launched M-PESA. The commitment has been sustained through relevant enhancements informed by proactive research into user habits, dynamic customer needs and emerging trends, relating to the use of M-PESA and other mobile finance solutions.

In developing M-Shwari which is the successful result of a 2-year product development process, Safaricom Ltd and the Commercial Bank of Africa followed the due legal process as required by the Laws of Kenya.

As Kenya’s leading integrated communications company, Safaricom has consistently worked hard to conceptually develop innovative solutions for all Kenyans. As a result Safaricom has built an enviable intellectual property portfolio.

While the allegations are lamentable and unfortunate, Safaricom will seek to have the matter resolved through the right legal processes. We believe that this law suit is tainted with malice because it is founded on untrue allegations.

We wish to assure our customers that all measures will be taken to ensure minimal service disruptions during this time.

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Written by Robert

Robert Alai is a respected Kenyan blogger, technical evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle or Facebook page. he is the founder of KahawaTungu.


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