Barclays Kenya announced a tie-up with Safaricom to offer 30-day loans to the operator’s customers – boosting the bank’s mobile offering and further cementing the wireless company’s position in the banking sector.
The Timiza loan service, aimed primarily at small businesses, operates through a standalone app and is available to existing Safaricom subscribers who are active m-Pesa users. There is also a version designed for non-smartphones with similar eligibility requirements.
Funds borrowed through the service can be transferred directly into m-Pesa.
Barclays Kenya said Timiza would provide short-term loans with a fee of 6.17 per cent charged on a 30-day advance, including processing costs and interest. A late payment fee of an additional 5 per cent will be levied if the repayment deadline isn’t met. The maximum loan amount is KES150,000 ($1,483).
In addition to the link-up with Timiza, Safaricom offers loans under the KCB m-Pesa brand, which competes with a number of other micro-finance providers in the country including Airtel Money brand M-Fanisi.
Reporting from the Timiza launch press conference, Kenyan Wall Street said Barclays planned to launch the service in other African countries by collaborating with companies operating in target markets, including mobile operators.