Safaricom Launches M-Shwari- Mobile Money Payday Loan

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Safaricom today  launched a new mobile money service known as M-Shwari. M-Shwari  is  partnership between Safaricom and CBA which runs on Mpesa and will be included on the Mpesa sim card menu. But the  users need to update the Mpesa menu first. To update Mpesa  menu, go to Mpesa, then My Account and then update Mpesa menu

Basically M-Shwari is like what  M-Kesho needed to be after growing up but it seems Safaricom and Equity Bank disagreed on how to move forward. CBA bank has been Mpesa holding bank and therefore there is no chance of  M-Shwari going in the same direction as Mkesho.

If you don’t have Mpesa account then the  first step is  to open a mobile bank account, M-Shwari , into which you can deposit as low as Sh1 in savings and borrow amounts ranging from Kshs 100 to 20,000 payable with a one-off interest rate of 7.5 per cent . The highest amount is expected to rise to 100,000 in the near future.

Ladies and gentlemen meet  what we call the pay day loan. Now people will get broke mid month, borrow 20k and pay back at the end of the month.. And the cycle continues.. In my view the interest of 7.5% per month is too high. But for  all the things Safaricom has done around Mpesa, this is a golden move. I call it money minting move  if there is something like that.  I know it because two of my friends tried to run Payday loans  sometime back and I know how popular that can be. But financial laws does not allow the individuals to do such thing so, they had to shut it down after it became past the cycle of friends

So M-Shwari is a paperless banking service offered through M-PESA. It will;

  • Enable you open and operate an M-Shwari bank account through your mobile phone, via M-PESA, without having to visit banks or fill out any forms.
  • Provide you the ability to move money in and out of your M-Shwari savings account to your M-PESA account at no charge.
  • Give you an opportunity to save as little as Ksh.1 and earn interest on your saving balance. This cash is moved into the savings account via M-PESA.
  • Enable you to access micro credit product (loan) of a minimum of Ksh.100 any time and receive your loan instantly on your M-PESA account.

By the way , it just had to be “M” something..I can see the spirit of using mvitu naming code is not going to die soon.

What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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