Despite disputes over idea ownership, M-Shwari, a Kenyan m-banking concept, has seen transactions totalling over KSh1 billion in barely three months.
Reports from Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), the banking arm of the m-banking service, show that by December 27 last year KSh976 million (US$11.35 million) had been deposited by the public, while borrowing totalled KSh123 million (US$1.43 million).
These figures have put most major banks with low mobile money technology on high alert.
The report also showed that young people between the ages of 25 to 30 years are the most ardent users of the service, given their embrace of mobile technology.
“We are overwhelmed at how well the product has picked up and the show of confidence from our customers. This product will clearly change the game in the local financial sector,” CBA chief executive Jeremy Ngunze toldThe Daily Nation.
The “success” of M-Shwari also pushed the team behind it to announce its plans to launch into Tanzania soon.
“We are definitely going to launch the product in Tanzania very soon. We just need to come up with a strategy that will work to yield results as seen in the Kenyan market,” Ngunze said.
Mobile banking products are expected to sprout across the telecoms industry due to the remarkable success of the Safaricom product. Most m-banking products allow customers to transfer money, check balances and receive alerts on transactions.
The idea to push the mobile money into a savings scheme seems to have struck a chord with Kenyans, who spurred the success of mobile money transfer M-Pesa, whose subscribers now stand at 15 million.