Safaricom has introduced a new investment tool dubbed Mali, which is powered by MPESA allowing users to invest as little as KES 100 ($1) with daily interest.
The new wealth management tool, Mali (Swahili, for Wealth), is accessible via the My Safaricom app and via USSD code *230#.
The tool will give a 10% annual interest (earned daily) return subject to interest withholding taxes. Investments will be accessible instantly with users being able to top up via USSD or a Paybill number.
All deposits and withdrawals from the investment tool are free and subject to MPESA limitations of any amount between KES 100 – KES 70, 000 ($700).
Mali is expected to be a game changer in the East African region where mobile lending apps have dominated. Safaricom has also previously launched Fuliza, a mobile lending service in partnership with local banks, which has also seen huge success with over KES 81B being borrowed in the 6 months of 2019 alone.
This #Mali product by Safaricom will be a game changer. Mali gives Safaricom customers an easier way to invest. More empowering than borrowing Apps which have placed more Kenyans into toxic debts. pic.twitter.com/8MryMSKCLg
— Francis Waithaka 💙 (@waithash) December 4, 2019
The new service seems slightly different from the already existing M-Shwari Savings service in that the latter is in partnership with NCBA, a financial institution, while the former seems to be a product exclusively by Safaricom and offering higher interest rates and no fees to use the service.
Lending services continue to show huge uptake not only in the region but globally. GrayChain, a service offering crypto-credit information and services, recently released a report showing the growing crypto-lending market.
Here are a few stats from the crypto credit industry:
- Crypto debt grew by 23% in Q3, 2019
- In Q3, many consumer lenders began scaling up institutional products
- New loans grew by 497% in Q3, 2019 compared to Q1 and Q2 2019
- Q3, 2019 stats come despite a 25% drop in BTC