Leading integrated communications provider Safaricom Limited has entered into a partnership with KCB Group – East and Central Africa's largest bank to provide M-PESA agents with a Kshs 1.5 billion loan boost.
The deal will see agents for M-PESA, Safaricom’s hugely successful mobile-based money transfer system, benefit from the one of a kind unsecured loan facility dubbed - M-PESA AGENT MKOPO NA KCB.
In the new proposition, M-PESA agents will be able to borrow loans worth up to six times their average commissions earned over a six month period.
Agents can borrow a minimum of Kshs.50,000 and a maximum of Kshs.5 million. The loans attract a 20 percent interest and are repayable over a 12 month period.
Safaricom's Chief Executive Officer, Bob Collymore, said that the new product is designed to ensure agents have sufficient float to meet the growing customer transaction volumes on the M-PESA platform.
He said: “M-PESA AGENT MKOPO NA KCB deploys the best of both the banking and telecommunications sector in a manner that offers value to our agents and our customers.
“Through this partnership, I believe we now have an effective solution to the challenges around float shortages.”
KCB Group's Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Oigara, said the partnership underpins the bank's commitment to support Small to Medium Enterprises through the extension of credit to M-PESA's agent network of more than 60,000 retail outlets.
“The foundation of KCB's business is built upon the entrepreneurial spirit of small and medium sized business owners throughout East Africa,” said Oigara.
“Our partnership will play a big role in expanding economic opportunities for our customers and this will help create more jobs. 7 KCB Groups seeks to extend its SME lending programme to drive locally driven growth in East African economies.
In Kenya, the growth in M-PESA is projected to gain momentum as mobile money transfer services continue to become an integral part of Kenyans' lives while offering a wealth and job creation avenue for Kenyans.
In the first half of the 2012/2013 financial year, Kenyans transacted an average of KShs. 80billion per month through M-PESA; which equates to 31 per cent of country national income. To access this facility, M-PESA agents will be required to visit any KCB branch countrywide.