The new service will now put Airtel Money and its financial services provider Maisha Microfinance Bank in the same league as Safaricom M-Shwari and KCB accounts.
The new service called “M-Fanisi” is currently available to all Airtel Money subscribers.
Airtel Money customers will now be able to take loans valid up to 30 days and also be able to open a savings account.
“We are opening doors to those Kenyans who are unbanked to enable them to start their own businesses and/or expand them,” Maisha CEO Kamal Shah said in a statement.
“Today we are witnessing a major milestone where Maisha is the first microfinance bank in Kenya to successfully roll out a mobile based lending and savings product,” he added.
This is not the first time the mobile network company has ventured into the loaning sector; in 2012 they launched one of many ventures with Faulu Kenya.
The new move is expected to spark stiff competition between Airtel Money and Safaricom’s MPESA.
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