November 27, 2012, Safaricom partnered with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) to launch M-Shwari as an add-on service to the mobile money wallet M-Pesa. M-Shwari allows M-Pesa customers to save and get loans on their mobile phone, without ever having to visit a brick and mortar bank.
In a nutshell, M-Shwari is a bank inside a phone, where the user can deposit savings by transferring money from their M-Pesa wallet. The can also get loans (instantly without the paper-works) to their M-Pesa wallets.
Come January next year, CBA has announced some major changes to its loan pricing policy that will see customers who pay their loans promptly and save a lot on the platform rip higher benefits. M-Shwari will have segmented pricing and improve customer experience by launching a mobile app. The bank also promises customers who have had a good history of saving and repaying their loans on time better-priced loans starting next week.
M-Shwari will also have a rebate for customers who repay their loans within 10 days, and it will be accessible via the MySafaricom app come January.
“These product enhancements are an illustration of investment in research, our deeper understanding of customer behavior 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, say CBA Group Managing Director, Isaac Awuondo.
Since its inception in Kenya towards the end of 2012, M-Shwari has grown with M-Pesa to four more African countries. The mobile bank now boasts of more than 31 million customers and has processed over Ksh. 230 billion. The average loan per customer currently stands at Ksh. 3,300 while saving by the customers currently stands at a little over Ksh. 12.6 billion.