Safaricom Limited in collaboration with Commercial Bank of Africa have introduced a first of its kind in the mobile money space on the globally acclaimed M-Shwari platform dubbed “Lock Savings Account”. The fixed deposit feature will afford Kenyans at the bottom of the social pyramid an opportunity to save for a specific purpose.
Subscribers will now be in a position to have a savings culture where savings fall below 20% of the GDP , the lowest in the region. Being the most impactful contributor to the formal financial services sector in the history of the nation, the product has seen CBA’s loan accounts grow by more than 800% from 89,000 in 2012 to 897,000 in December last year making the bank the country’s top retail lender.
Established in 2012 as a micro savings and lending facility, the platform now has over 7M customers who have in the last 2 years saved more than KES 40 Bn and taken out loans worth KES 1.2 Bn.
“We introduced this new feature on the strength of recurrent customer feedback which suggested that we introduce a facility which would inherently instill in them the discipline required to make medium term savings towards a specific goal.”
To access the Lock Savings Account feature, customers will need to dial *234*6# and follow the prompt. The revolutionary service will allow customers to save a minimum of KES 500 for a maximum of six months at interest rates of upto 6% p.a .