In 2012, Safaricom partnered with Commercial Bank of Africa and unveiled M-shwari a product that runs on M-Pesa and features in the menu. M-shwari allows customers to save money from M-Pesa to a bank account without actually going to the bank to open an account. Users are able to save money from as low as 1 shilling and credit of as low as 100 shillings. Money borrowed is transferred immediately to M-Pesa account for withdrawal. Users could also access credit facilities using the facility. M-shwari currently has 11 million registered users with 5.8 million active users. The product has grown in leaps and bounds and in 2015, it ventured into the healthcare space through a partnership with mobile Health service provider Hello Doctor. The service delivers health information to customers when clients need a quick healthcare reference.
To extend the growth in other markets, CBA’s Uganda subsidiary has applied for a licence to launch an M-Shwari equivalent in Uganda according to reports in Business Daily. The bank is seeking to launch a savings and loans mobile service in collaboration with MTN Uganda and has sought the green light from the Bank of Uganda. A similar product called M-Pawa was launched in Tanzania by CBA in collaboration with Vodacom. CBA plans to launch the product in April 2016, should it get the necessary approval from the Bank of Uganda.
In April 2015, MTN Group signed collaboration agreements aimed at allowing MTN Money users in Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia to make cross border remittances with M-pesa customers in Kenya, Tanzania and a host of other nations. Users in these nations would be able to send money to MTN users. In addition to boosting trade, the service allowed users to send money without exactly changing currencies. Early in September, MTN Rwanda users were able to send money to MTN Uganda using this service.