CBA eyes Rwandan market with mobile loans product

Tuesday October 4 2016

An M-Shwari branded bus termini in Nairobi. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA

An M-Shwari branded bus termini in Nairobi. Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) plans to launch an equivalent of its mobile banking product M-Shwari in Rwanda. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA 


Commercial Bank of Africa is gearing to venture into the Rwandan market with its M-Shwari product after successful uptake in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The bank which recently announced signing more than 600,000 subscribers in Uganda on its mobile-banking platform (MoKash) in partnership with MTN Uganda said Rwanda’s growing mobile penetration will be key for the plan set to be rolled out by December.

CBA chief executive officer Jeremy Ngunze said the service will leverage on the same advantages it has over other banking channels to record success in Rwanda as it has done in the three East African countries.

“We have people in some of these countries who are able to move cash on mobile among themselves but the gap that exists in savings and borrowing remains unexploited. The privacy and convenience that comes with borrowing on your mobile phone are our key strengths and we will use raw data to drive this crucial service. We are looking at Rwanda in quarter four and other countries will follow,” Mr Ngunze said in an interview.

The bank was giving its performance briefing to investors. M-Shwari now has 16 million customers in Kenya with 80,000 users borrowing on the platform daily. This has seen some Ksh106 billion ($1.05 billion) disbursed in the region as M-Shwari loans remain unaffected by the capped interest rate.