On Tuesday the 8th of this week, Commercial Bank Of Africa (CBA) together with MTN Uganda launched their micro-savings and loans product dubbed MoKash, literally translated as More Cash. The service from CBA leverages MTN Uganda’s vast network resources and its mobile money platform to disburse micro-loans, accept deposits and savings to eligible applicants.
Who are the eligible applicants?
One has to be a registered MTN customer with an active mobile money wallet, 18 years or older and must have used the platform for at least 6 months. It is against one’s credit score, computed basing on one’s utilization of MTN services like voice, data, mobile money among others that a loan is disbursed in their accord, subject to a facilitation fee of 9% of the amount requested. The loan is then payable within a period of 30 days. The higher the credit score, the higher the chances of one getting an incremental loan from MoKash.
However, once one falls behind their repayments, CBA extends a rollover period of 30 extra days accruing a surcharge of once again 9%. The rollover, call it the extended loan repayment period is 30 days upon which the debtor has to pay back.
A good credit history increases one’s credit score which in return increases the amount one can borrow from MoKash, while a bad credit history negates the above. This means one has to be prompt about their loan repayments so as to increase their score, lest they will be limited to borrow less.
The minimum amount one can borrow is 3000 UGX up to a maximum of 1,000,000 UGX and can save a minimum of 50 UGX up to a maximum of 10,000,000 UGX, which earns them interest of up to 5%, the longer they keep it in the depository. Below are a detailed amount and the interest that accrues:
|UGX 1 – 300,000||2%|
|UGX 300,001 – 800,000||3%|
|UGX 800,001 – 1,600,000||4%|
|UGX > 1,600,001||5%|
How does one sign up?
Eligible applicants meeting the above criteria only have to dial *165*5#, signup, enter their mobile money pin which in return acts as an affirmation to the terms & conditions of the service and you’re good to go. No transactional, ledger or signup fees are attached to the process, everything is free and no fees are charged while moving money between Mokash and one’s Mobile Money account.
Once one signs up for MoKash, they automatically become CBA customers and their deposits are under the jurisdiction of Bank of Uganda since CBA is regulated by the central bank . MTN Uganda only acts as a channel through which one can access MoKash owing to its vast network, customer numbers and brand. CBA handles product management, credit risk management, balance sheet management the regulatory weight and compliance.
In addition, customer and brand management is a joint effort between MTN and CBA. The former solely handles the marketing and distribution of the product.
The Telecom came to realise that the mobile money funds retention period is very low since depositors apparently use the service to make payments and do money transfers that is — send money to recipients who then withdraw the funds in question and use them for their intended purposes.
In one way or another, MoKash seeks to address this, where MM customers are able to save money to their mobile wallets and concurrently use MTN services so as to build their credit score. A win-win for both MTN and CBA.
Similar products like M-Shwari in Kenya was launched by CBA in partnership with Safaricom and M-Pawa was launched in neighboring Tanzania in partnership with Vodacom.
The nitty gritty.
If a customer has funds in their MoKash savings account and/or their Mobile Money account, the loan shall automatically be repaid from these accounts in that order. Any balance on the principal amount of the loan after attempted recovery will attract a roll-over fee of 9% and added to the outstanding principal amount of the loan balance.
You cannot send or receive money on MoKash, you have to opt for conventional MM instead
The first credit limit review is done 60days after enrolment and 30days thereafter
If a customer repays their loan when it is greater than 61days then they are restricted from accessing the service for one month.
After 63 days of the MoKash loan, the credit limit is reduced to 80% of the current limit or the previous limit whichever is lower.
When a MoKash loan is 90days old, the customer loan limit is reduced to 0 and therefore they will not be able to access a loan. The Customer must save to grow their limit.
When a customer pays back their loan but pays extra over and above the amount they owe (principle and fees), the extra amount is automatically transferred to their MoKash savings account. For example if a customer takes a loan of 1,000/-. They are expected to pay back 1,090/- within 30 days. If they pay back 1,500/ the extra 410/- is deposited on their MoKash savings account.