Nov 28, 2012

M-Shwari — The Bank in your pocket

M-Shwari is a mobile banking service that allows M-PESA users to save and borrow money using their mobile phones. The service is offered by Safaricom in collaboration with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which has been the primary banker M-PESA.

M-Shwari enables one to:

  1. Open and operate an M-Shwari bank account through your mobile phone, via M-PESA, without having to visit banks or fill out any forms.
  2.  Move money in and out of your M-Shwari savings account to your M-PESA account at no charge.
  3. Save as little as Ksh.1 and earn interest on your saving balance. This cash is moved into the savings account via M-PESA.
  4. Access micro credit product (loan) of a minimum of Ksh.100 any time and receive your loan instantly on your M-PESA account.

To qualify for an M-Shwari loan, one needs to be an M-Pesa subscriber for at least six months, deposit some savings in their M-Shwari account and be a regular user of other Safaricom services such as voice, data and M-Pesa.

M-Shwari mainly targets micro-savers and borrowers. It requires users to open a mobile bank account, M-Shwari , into which they can deposit as low as Sh1 in savings and borrow up to Sh20,000 payable with a one-off interest rate of 7.5 per cent. All loans are payable within a month of disbursement. Deposits in M-Shwari accounts will earn a graduated interest up to a maximum of five per cent per annum.

To open an M-Shwari account, go to the Safaricom menu in your phone, select “M-PESA”, go to “My Account”, “Update Menu”, enter “M-Pesa PIN” and wait to receive the updated M-PESA menu. If you are using the old Safaricom sim card, you need a sim replacement to get the new M-Shwari menu.