Kenyans deposits in their mobile phone account M-Shwari hit Sh571.1 billion as Kenyans increasingly turned to the service for savings and borrowing.

The growth means that Kenyans on average deposited Sh687.95 million daily in their M-Shwari savings accounts— reflecting a growth of 2.3 times from the Sh292.05 million daily savings posted in the preceding financial year.

The deposits, which rival savings held in top banks, rose 78.5pc from Sh320 billion reported the previous year.

“An increasing number of Kenyans are making use of this service, as indicated by the fact that deposits have more than doubled over the last four years,” says Safaricom in the latest sustainability report.

The latest level of M-Shwari deposits is also 2.7 times more than the Sh213.4 billion that was in the mobile money accounts three years ago.

The M-Shwari deposits were above the Sh569.27 billion and Sh431.44 billion savings in KCB Bank Kenya and Equity Bank Kenya, respectively at the end of March or the Sh330.09 billion that was in the safes of 21 small banks by end of December.

At the same time, Kenyans cut on borrowing via M-Shwari by 27pc to Sh94.5 billion meaning they have now saved six times more than they have tapped loans.

According to Business Daily, the product which was launched in November 2013 had 3.977 million active customers by end of March, a drop from 4.66 million in the previous similar period last year, coinciding with the decision to raise the minimum loan on the platform from Sh500 to Sh2,000 in August last year.

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