M-Shwari services temporarily suspended for system enhancement

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Kenyans will not be able to access M-Shwari services from Friday to parts of Sunday following planned system enhancement, NCBA said on Thursday.

The maintenance will kick off at 11.59 pm on Friday to November 22 at 2.30 pm. “We will be conducting a planned system enhancement on our M-Shwari platform from Friday, during this period, all M-Shwari services will be unavailable.”

NCBA runs M-Shwari, a mobile lending platform, jointly with telecommunications service provider Safaricom.

The platform offers subscribers a bank account through mobile phones, enables one to save money for a fixed period, and offers an opportunity for one to move money in and out of the savings account to an M-Pesa account.

The last seven years have seen a disbursement of loans amounting to over Sh 430.5 billion. It has attracted over 450,000 customers
In a recent interview, the bank’s Managing Director John Gachora said Bad loans on M-Shwari surged more than four times during the Covid-19 period as borrowers distressed by the pandemic struggled to service their loans.

“Historically, our NPL ratio has been around 1.8 per cent on M-Shwari. Now we have seen those numbers go up as far as eight per cent,” he said in an interview with The Standard in October, adding that the bad loans have since been coming down.

The monthly disbursement on M-Shwari doubled from Sh7 billion in September last year to Sh14 billion in December.
However, by June, that number had reduced to Sh8 billion, he said.

Disbursement of mobile loans on KCB M-Pesa, another mobile lending platform between KCB and Safaricom, declined by 12 per cent from Sh103.1 billion in the first half of 2019 to Sh90.6 billion in the first six months.