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M-Pesa mobile money service enhanced in Kenya

Already staking a claim to be the one of the most effective mobile money success stories to have graced the telecoms industry, Kenya’s M-Pesa service has now been extended to allow consumers access to interest-bearing saving accounts and the ability to take out small loans.

The new service, called M-Shwari, and is the result of a new strategic cooperation between operators Vodafone and Safaricom, and the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).

Safaricom customers can sign up to the M-Shwari interest bearing savings account, provided by CBA, directly through the M-Pesa menu on their phone. Vodafone has provided the functionality of M-Shwari and designed the best user experience. There are no forms to complete and no need to visit a bank branch.

M-Pesa customers can also apply to CBA for a mini-loan directly from their phone.  Based on the individual customer’s M-Pesa transactions and savings history, CBA determines the customer’s eligibility. The loan money is sent by CBA to the customer’s M-Pesa account immediately.

M-Shwari creates a safe environment for customers to borrow small amounts and links the amounts of credit available to the ability to save,” said Michael Joseph, director for M-Pesa within Vodafone Group.

“Through their M-Shwari savings account, M-Pesa customers are empowered to manage their financial lives. Based on our experience in Kenya, we will look to take this innovation to other markets.”

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