Safaricom and KCB teamed up to offer M-Pesa agents’ unsecured loans through a service dubbed ‘M-Pesa Agent Mkopo na KCB’ sometimes back; we’ve decided to take a short detour to outline some insights of this service. M-Pesa is by far the most successful mobile banking service in the country while KCB has been consistent in topping as the biggest bank in the region with presence in the entire East Africa; therefore, it’ll not be news seeing the two team-up to promote their products. According to the press release from the two institutions, KCB will avail Kshs.1.5 billion unsecured loan facility to Mpesa agents who may borrow up to 6 times of their average commissions earned over a 6 month period, commissions are calculated on the amount and number of transactions agents make on a daily basis – usually on customer withdrawals.
The ‘M-Pesa Agent Mkopo Na KCB’ product entails a special designed business account for the agents to manage their transactions, an overdraft specially for the Mpesa agents to boost their working capital requirement, Mpesa float overdraft, a KCB Mpesa account and a customized short term loan to finance them. Very often, you’ll see Mpesa agents grapple with insufficient float especially with a large influx of customers – it’s one of those issues that will be solved by ‘M-Pesa Agent Mkopo na KCB’ product. At the launch event, Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore said they’ve found an effective solution to tackle challenges associated with float shortages. On the other hand, KCB is seeking to expand its SME’s to trigger locally driven growth by offering employment opportunities to the youth.
M-Pesa Agent Mkopo na KCB Challenges;
- High interest rates – even with the advantage of unsecured loans, at 20 percent interest rates, M-Pesa Agent Mkopo na KCB product is no different or may even be more expensive to normal bank loans.
- Minimum of Ksh.50000 and Maximum of Kshs.5 million loans. The set threshold may be reasonable but for agents who may want to stretch beyond or need lesser amount are inconvenienced to adjust accordingly.
- Loan depends on commissions earned for a period of 6 months; this is a problem to starters as they may not have earned enough commissions to qualify for a reasonable loan.
- Loans repayable over a 12 months period, normal bank loans permit longer repayment periods.