Barclays Bank of Kenya this morning launched a mobile loan platform meant to serve hustlers on Safaricom network. The launch that was done by Barclays Bank MD Mr. Jeremy Awori and graced by Craft Silicon CEO Kamal Budhabatti, and Director of Safaricom’s Consumer Business Unit Sylvia Mulinge saw the unveiling of both Timiza App and the USSD short code *848# for Timiza that will enable the Safaricom hustlers access unsecured loans.
Timiza has been developed by Barclays Bank of Kenya in partnership with Craft Silicon and Safaricom to enable individuals and small and medium sized businesses get quick unsecured loans of up to Kshs 150,000 per month. Additionally, Timiza also offers two insurance products namely personal accident cover worth a maximum of Kshs 150,000 and funeral cover worth a maximum of Kshs 100,000 at a meagre Kshs 42 per month.
Timiza has been launched at a time when the Kenyan market has a number of players trying to get the attention of the public with both cheap and expensive instant loan platforms. In terms of cost, the Safaricom hustlers that are being targeted by the service will find themselves paying a 5% service charge fees and a 1.7% interest on the loan amount, which means by the end of the 30 day loan period the hustler shall be required to pay 6.7% interest on the loan amount.
The partnership between Barclays Bank of Kenya and Safaricom means the loans are available only to Safaricom’s MPESA customers as the loans will be disbursed to individuals’ MPESA wallets. What is not clear as at now is whether Timiza will someday find its way right inside MPESA menu to sit next to Mshwari and KCB-MPESA, as right now the only way to access the Timiza loans is either by dialing *848# or heading over to Google Play Store and downloading the Timiza App which has received some 1,000 dowlands since it was launched about four hours ago. If we can recall, KCB-MPESA also started as a USSD only loans platform but several months later Safaricom decided to include it into the MPESA Menu.
In addition to the loans and insurance covers, Timiza product also allows users to save from MPESA and pay bills right inside the App. The bill payment and insurance options differentiates Timiza from Mshwari and KCB-MPESA as the first two only allow one to save and borrow.
Here is the summary of the Timiza features
- Get instant loans on your phone
- Deposit funds into Timiza
- Pay for KPLC/ZUKU/DSTV/GOTV bills
- Purchase insurance
- Buy airtime
So Dial *848# or head to Google PlayStore and download it