Safaricom’s savings and credit service M-Shwari has now hit an all-time high the customer deposits, as reported by the telco. This comes as Kenyans have increasingly turned to the service to make savings and borrow short-term loans.
This is so positive for M-Shwari as the deposit figures have now surpassed savings in the country’s top banks, having risen by 78.5% in just a year. This is from last year’s KES 320 billion to this year’s KES 571 billion.
This growth then means that Kenyans have deposited KES 687.95 million daily on average. This is about 2.3 times the amount of daily savings that was reported in the previous year.
“An increasing number of Kenyans are making use of this service, as indicated by the fact that deposits have more than doubled over the last four years,” says Safaricom in the latest sustainability report.
As reported by Business Daily, the M-Shwari deposits hit over the Sh569.27 billion and Sh431.44 billion savings in KCB Bank Kenya and Equity Bank Kenya reported at the end of March. This is also above the KES 330.09 billion savings made in 21 small banks by the end of December.
The huge increase is attributed to a step up in savings by Kenyans across the country as they cut on borrowing via M-Shwari by 27% to KES 94.5 billion. This means that they have saved up to six times more than they have tapped loans.
By the end of Q1 2021, M-Shwari had reported 3.977 million active customers. Unfortunately, this was a drop from the 4.66 million in a similar period last year.
This also coincided with the telco’s decision to raise the minimum loan on the service from KES 500 to KES 2,000 in August last year. As explained by NCBA was a move aimed at reducing defaults largely by borrowers taking smaller amounts.