Airtel Money has announced the launch of a mobile money-based savings and loan service to the Kenyan market.
The new service will now put Airtel Money and its financial services provider Maisha Microfinance Bank in the same league as Safaricom M-Shwari and KCB accounts.
The new service called “M-Fanisi” is currently available to all Airtel Money subscribers.
Airtel Money customers will now be able to take loans valid up to 30 days and also be able to open a savings account.
“We are opening doors to those Kenyans who are unbanked to enable them to start their own businesses and/or expand them,” Maisha CEO Kamal Shah said in a statement.
“Today we are witnessing a major milestone where Maisha is the first microfinance bank in Kenya to successfully roll out a mobile based lending and savings product,” he added.
This is not the first time the mobile network company has ventured into the loaning sector; in 2012 they launched one of many ventures with Faulu Kenya.
The new move is expected to spark stiff competition between Airtel Money and Safaricom’s MPESA.