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Finally, Safaricom to Launch Interest-free Loans

Finally, Safaricom to Launch Interest-free Loans

According to Safaricom chief executive officer Peter Ndegwa, the telco has been addressing concerns that were raised by the CBK on Interest-free Loans.

“I am sure it will show up. We needed to change a few things. We will bring it back. It needs to be approved normally just in the same way CBK approves (other products). It is a use case that customers want. You will see it come back,” said Ndegwa.

Dubbed Faraja, the loan service will be a collaboration between Safaricom, EDOMx Ltd, a Kenya-based financial technology firm, and Equity Bank.

In July 2022, the Central Bank of Kenya blocked a plan by Safaricom to offer Kenyans M-Pesa zero-interest loans.  CBK reportedly blocked the service dubbed Faraja from launching on the day it was supposed to launch, and 8 hours before the start of the service.

The Central Bank reportedly claimed that the service was still under regulatory review and that Safaricom needed to slam the brakes on the launch.

MUST READ: M-PESA Mshwari Loan Guide, How to Apply In Kenya

The new Interest-free Loans product was expected to be one of a kind in the Kenyan market. It was supposed to work under Lipa na M-Pesa and would allow Kenyans to buy goods and services on credit without incurring interest fees.

Using Faraja, customers would have been able to purchase products from Sh. 20 to Sh. 100,000.  They would then be required to pay back within a month at no extra charges, hidden fees, or default penalties.

Safaricom had explained that when using Faraja loans, only the normal M-Pesa transaction charges would apply at the point of sale on the product.

For a 30-day loan cycle, the loan would be due on the 30th day and likewise, the 7-day loan would be due on the 7th day after the loan is given.

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Written by The County Info

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