Safaricom Joins Forces with Pezesha to Launch "Mkopo wa Pochi" for Small Business Funding

Safaricom has partnered with Pezesha, a digital lending platform, to launch Mkopo wa Pochi, a new financial product specifically designed to support small businesses in the country. This initiative marks a significant expansion of Safaricom’s existing loan portfolio, which already includes popular options like M-Shwari and Fuliza.

The mkopo wa pochi loan is designed with accessibility and flexibility in mind. Mkopo wa Pochi borrowers are subject to a one-time access fee of 2.76% on the borrowed amount.

The repayment term for the mkopo wa pochi loan is set at 7 days, with the option to extend for an additional 7 days. This extension comes with a one-time fee of 3.85% for the entire 14-day period. Additionally, late repayments to the mkopo wa pochi loan will attract a 1% daily penalty for up to 7 days.

Pezesha will determine the creditworthiness of Pochi la Biashara customers using various assessment tools, including credit bureaus that track loan defaulters.

As per Safaricom’s terms and conditions, Pezesha’s assessment will consider a range of factors, including:

  • The business’s transaction history with Safaricom through Pochi la Biashara.
  • The user’s overall mobile money account activity on M-PESA.
  • Credit information obtained from the Credit Reference Bureau.
  • The user’s past interactions with the Mkopo wa Pochi product.
  • Prevailing market conditions that could impact loan risk.

The arrival of Mkopo wa Pochi signifies a seamless integration with Safaricom’s established mobile money platform, M-PESA. The mkopo wa pochi loan is accessible through an update on the M-PESA super app, and it allows business owners to directly access funds through their M-PESA business accounts. This further complements Pochi la Biashara, Safaricom’s tailored business wallet solution catering to the specific needs of small enterprises in Kenya.

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The collaboration combines the strengths of both companies. Pezesha gains entry into Kenya’s dynamic mobile money market by leveraging Safaricom’s extensive customer base. With over 32.4 million active M-PESA users, Safaricom provides Pezesha with a vast pool of potential borrowers.

Pochi la Biashara boasts an impressive track record, with over 632,000 active merchants currently utilizing the platform. In the period between March 2023 and March 2024, Pochi la Biashara processed a staggering $564 million (KES 73 billion) worth of transactions, generating $6 million (KES 800 million) in revenue. These figures highlight the significant role Pochi la Biashara plays in Kenya’s small business ecosystem.

Pezesha, for its part, brings its expertise in the digital lending domain to the table. The company has a proven track record of successful collaborations with other players in the Kenyan market, including Marketforce, Kysok App, and Rocket Health.

Pezesha’s unwavering commitment to this goal is further evidenced by their recent acquisition of a $500,000 grant from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). These funds will be used to refine their credit scoring technology, ensuring a more efficient and data-driven approach to evaluating loan applications.

This initiative follows a successful $11 million pre-Series A funding round led by Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II in 2022, further solidifying Pezesha’s dedication to supporting financial inclusion in Kenya.

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