By Noel Wandera
Mobile credit facility, M-Shwari has locked in 450,000 customers with deposits of more than Ksh18.7 billion since the savings account was launched by the then Commercial Bank of Africa (now NCBA) in 2012.
The account allows customers to save for a defined purpose and for a specified amount of time, and is ideal for customers looking for higher interest rates and those wishing to keep money away safely for one to six months.
The paperless banking service is offered through M-Pesa, at a facility fee of 7.5 per cent per annum.
M-Shwari, which is celebrating seven years, has been a game changer and today provides finan- cial services to more than 31 million customers. It has also enabled them to manage their daily cash flows, as well as deepening financial inclusion in the country.
NCBA Group managing director John Gachora said the average lock savings on the facility was Ksh8,981 for an average of 7.5 months, adding that the service has since disbursed more than Ksh430.5 billion.
“We are particularly proud of the transformation witnessed among our M-Shwari customers with 42 per cent of all our loan disbursements being invested in business ventures,” said Gachora.
“I reaffirm our commitment to continue playing a crucial role in providing life-changing financial support to all our customers,” he added.
He said Kenyan households that use M-Shwari are better savers, maintaining at least one week of their home expenditures on M- Shwari lock savings.
Safaricom acting chief executive Michael Joseph said the partnership with NCBA has enabled Safaricom “deliver M-Shwari as a revo- lutionary innovation that provides millions of Kenyans with formal access to credit and savings, many of them for the first time ever.”