Following a month of trials, the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom have formally introduced a new proposition that will enable M-Shwari customers to access affordable loans to acquire smartphones and tablets. Dubbed ‘Smart Loan’, the product seeks to enable Safaricom subscribers to purchase smart devices through affordable monthly installments to remove any possible barriers to digital inclusion. Under the scheme, customers will pay for 30% of the cost of the device, and pay for the difference in installments of up to six months.
“As M-Shwari marks its second anniversary, we have taken stock of the lessons from this revolutionary mobile banking and loan product. Extending the loan proposition from monetary terms to smart devices is in line with shifting demand from our customer
M-Shwari has been a major contributor to Financial Inclusion in Kenya. “We have so far disbursed loans amounting to Kshs. 24 billion, while maintaining a repayment rate of 97% which is by far more impressive than the repayment rates for loans advanced by commercial banks,” said Mr. Ngunze.
M-Shwari has attracted a customer base of over 9 million customers, who have registered deposits in excess of Kshs. 135 billion. Following the pilot launch of the trial of the Smart Loan service a month ago, Safaricom has sold over 6,500 devices using the service.
“Kenya’s smartphone penetration has been growing phenomenally over the past five years, but there are still many customers who are not able to afford a device. We believe that by coming up with this proposition we make it possible for customers to access the wealth of knowledge available on the internet,” said Safaricom’s Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore.
He explained “This move also fits in well with the ongoing rollout of our 4G network as we also work to increase the number of 3G sites in Kenya five-fold in the coming five years. Customers can now take advantage of the offer to purchase the latest hardware to enjoy fast, affordable and reliable internet services.” The service is available for all smart phones and tablets available in Safaricom shops.