Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Safaricom’s paperless banking service M-shwari has today launched a fixed deposit savings account dubbed “Lock Savings Account”, the first of its kind in the mobile money space aimed at helping Kenyans an opportunity to save for a specific purpose.

The move is aimed at entrenching a savings culture in a country where savings fall below 20% of the GDP, the lowest in the region.

To access the Lock Savings Account feature, customers will need to dial *234*6 and follow the prompt. The revolutionary service will allow customers to save a minimum of KES 500 for a maximum of six months at interest rates of up to 6% p.a.

Speaking on the launch, Jeremy Ngunze, CBA Kenya’s Chief Executive Officer said, “We introduced this new feature on the strength of recurrent customer feedback which suggested the need for a facility which would inherently instill in them the discipline required to make medium term savings towards a specific goal.”

M-Shwari service was launched at end of 2012 as a micro savings and lending facility whose primary aim was to bring more Kenyans into the formal financial services fold and has seen CBA’s loan accounts grow by more than 800% from 89,000 in 2012 to 897,000 in December last year making the bank the country’s top retail lender. M-Shwari has over 7M customers who have in the last 2 years transacted more than KES 156 Bn and taken out loans worth KES 13 Bn.

“Reports by the Central Bank have lauded M-Shwari as the most impactful contributor to the formal financial services sector in the history of the nation. Indeed, M-Shwari has been credited with growing to 67%, the segment of the country’s bankable population that has access to a bank account,” said Ms. Betty Mwangi-Thuo, Safaricom’s of GM Financial Services.

Source: Tech Moran (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion