Cassava SmartTech (who are in the process of demerging with Econet) is making sure they end the year with a bang. Shortly after announcing that Econet subscribers will now be able to open accounts with Steward Bank from their mobile phone using the *236# Bank service, it was revealed that both EcoCash and Steward Bank clients will now be able to get collateral-free loans from their mobile phones.
Yuhp! No need for you to go and wait in line and fill out some paperwork and go through all the hassles it takes for you to get a loan from microfinance institutions. Using KaShagi (as the product will be known) you can just get a loan in a few clicks from your phone.
Are MFIs in trouble?
The logic behind this move is that there are times when you need a loan just to sustain you until the next payday or if you need to pay ZESA. For something like this you wouldn’t want to stand in-line at a microfinance institution filling out paperwork and having to wait 3-days until you get your money.
There’s also the issue of interest rates. Most MFIs have interests rates that are considered excessive. Early last year the interest rates for MFIs were capped at 10% per month and this is still quite high. Using the KaShagi facility you’ll only part with a 5% handling fee and there will be no interest rates on your 30-day loan. If you manage to repay the loan within 48 hours you’ll be able to apply for another one.
To access KaShigi from your Steward Bank account:
- Dial *236#
- Select Option 3 – Nano Loans
- Select Option 1 – KaShagi Loan
- You’ll be notified of the loan you qualify for or your outstanding loan balance. From there you can either apply for the loan or repay the loan
To Access KaShagi from EcoCash:
- Dial *236#
- Enter your EcoCash PIN
- Select Option 6 – EcoCash Save
- Select Option 3 – KaShagi Loan
- Either request loan (option 1) or repay loan (option 2). You can also check your credit limit (option 3).
How much can you actually get?
The minimum amount you should be able to qualify for when using the KaShagi on Steward and EcoCash is $5 and $10 respectively and the maximum is $100.
According to Natalie Jabangwe-Morris (the EcoCash CEO), the first 100 people to get a loan using KaShagi will get their double whatever they are requesting and they only get to payback for the amount they requested.