SACCOs are beautiful for three reasons – they ensure saving discipline. They offer the most affordable loans in Kenya. Then they provide bonuses based on savings per year. My entire secondary education was funded by the education loans my father used to obtain from Cooperative SACCO. His development projects were also funded by those loans. At the end of every year he used to give us an excellent end of the year Xmas party since he used to obtain bonuses sufficient to buy chicken, two ungas of chapo and accompanying cooking oil from the SACCO. A decade and a half has passed since then and today we are in the 21st century where everything happens online – and that’s why a new SACCO has been born, a SACCO that operates exclusively online – the Homepesa SACCO Limited.
Residing at www.homepesasacco.com, the Homepesa SACCO describes itself as a licensed credit facility that offers credit services to everyone including those who are in informal employment. According the website, Homepesa SACCO is a technology driven company allowing users to make savings and get loans using Mpesa and credit cards. The website further provides that Homepesa Sacco is open to all entities which include individuals, Saccos, companies and other registered and unregistered entities. After signing up, members will be in a position to save and access these other services:
- Emergency Loans
- School Fees Loans
- Super Development Loans
The loans are offered at the rate of 2 to 4% per month, which apparently aren’t the lowest in town. Typically, SACCOs offer loans at the rate of 1% per month or 12 percent per year. However, a press release sent to Kachwanya.com indicate that the loans offered by the Homepesa SACCO are at the rate of 1-4% per month.
The Homepesa Sacco is owned by Nairobi-based Innovations Holdings Ltd and aims to use technology (internet and mobile phone) to create a huge network of small, medium and even big businesses as well as Saccos to save in an automated environment. In a statement, HOMEPESA SACCO Director Dennis Satia said internet and mobile based savings and credit access will stimulate development through savings and investment as the platform ensures faster savings, with a short-code provided to members who have no access to the internet through their phones. Members can make their contributions using M-Pesa and Airtel Money and credit cards from anywhere in the world.
“This means those in diaspora can also join,” he said. HOMEPESA SACCO enables members to register using debit/credit cards from a variety of financial institutions such cards Visa, Master Card, American Express, Paypal, Airtel Money and M-Pesa.
The CEO said members can monitor their savings and loan levels from the comfort of their homes and or offices using mobile phones. “HOMEPESA SACCO registers customers at no cost, requires no paper work and thus saves time and money,” said Mr. Dennis Satia. The Sacco’s loan rates range from 1-4 percent per month. Members can qualify for a loan by having guarantors registered with HOME PESA SACCO or proving security such land title deed or car logbooks.