Safaricom is launching a new Shari’ah-compliant mobile financing solution dubbed Halal Pesa in a partnership between the telecom company and Gulf African Bank, one of the leading Islamic banking corporations in the country.
As a result, Halal Pesa becomes the first Shariah-compliant mobile and digital financing solution in Kenya, in a bid to attract the Muslim population in the country.
According to a statement from Safaricom, customers accessing financing through the service will receive the amount requested in full with a repayment period of 30 days at a 5 percent commodity Murabaha margin.
This comes in the wake of efforts to have Safaricom Lipa Na M-Pesa accept transactions from rival telco mobile payment gateways and help lower transaction fees.
On the whole, Halal Pesa seeks to empower M-Pesa customers who have previously been locked out of access to financing due to barriers such as the lack of Shariah-modeled mobile facilities.
Safaricom Halal Pesa
All M-Pesa customers can access Halal Pesa as a Mini App under the “Grow” option on the M-Pesa Super App and by dialing *334# under “Loans and Savings” on feature phones.
Customers will initially be provided with a personalized facility limit based on their M-Pesa usage. The limit can be increased based on a customer’s usage of Halal Pesa.
Abdalla Abdulkhalik, the Gulf African Bank MD, said “Kenya is now a highly innovative, interconnected, and fast-paced community that requires solutions on the go. All our digital offerings including Halal Pesa, seek to directly address this aspect. Our current strategy is focused on digitization for financial inclusion.”
Abdulkhalik also noted that the bank aims “to provide instantaneous access to interest-free credit through Halal Pesa. We are glad that we could partner with a like-minded partner like Safaricom to advance this vision.”
On his part, Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa, said the company remains “keen on partnerships that enable us to provide a wide variety of financial solutions that meet the diversified needs of our customers further broadening financial inclusion to ensure that we leave no one behind.”
Ndegwa also identified Gulf African Bank as a “strategic partner that will enable us to deliver affordable and convenient M-PESA services such as Halal Pesa that are Shariah-compliant in accordance to the Islamic faith.”
Based on the latest census data, Muslims make up about 11 percent of the population in Kenya or just over 5 million people.