Vodafone launches new M-Pesa service in Kenya

Vodafone, the telecoms giant involved in the development of the M-Pesa service in Africa, has announced that from Tuesday 27th the service's Kenyan customers will have access to interest bearing saving accounts and have the ability to take out small loans through a new service, called M-Shwari.

Vodafone, the telecoms giant involved in the development of the M-Pesa service in Africa, has announced that from Tuesday 27th the service's Kenyan customers will have access to interest bearing saving accounts and have the ability to take out small loans through a new service, called M-Shwari.

The new service is the result of a new strategic cooperation between Vodafone, 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.

A customer's eligibility is determined based on his or her's M-Pesa transactions and savings history, and there are no forms to fill out. The loan money is then sent by CBA to the customer's M-Pesa account immediately.

Michael Joseph, Director for M-Pesa within Vodafone Group, says: "M-Shwari is a transformational service: saving is no longer the privilege of an elite; all Kenyans can now save, even the smallest amounts and at their own pace. M-Shwari creates a safe environment for customers to borrow small amounts and links the amounts of credit available to the ability to save. Through their M-Shwari savings account, M-Pesa customers are empowered to manage their financial lives."

He adds: "Working with CBA meant having access to banking expertise in savings and loans and allowing M-Pesa customers to earn interest from their savings. This is an important step forward for millions of M-Pesa customers in Kenya."

M-Pesa (which means 'mobile money') is currently the most advanced mobile payment system in the developing world, and allows anyone with a national ID card or passport to use its services using a mobile device.

Vodafone's share price rose 0.13% to 157.85p by 08:40.

NR

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