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KCB, Safaricom unveil Sh30B mobile stimulus package in COVID-19 deal

By Milliam Murigi
Friday, March 20th, 2020
KCB Group Chief Executive Officer Joshua Oigara.

KCB Bank Kenya and Safaricom have partnered in a deal which sets aside a Sh30 billion stimulus package to ease financial distress.

This comes on the back of affordable lending and reduced transaction costs on mobile aims as the country grapples with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

A raft of measures have been instituted since the banking sector stakeholders were hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi on Wednesday.

This move also avails the funds for onward lending to KCB M-PESA customers during the next 90 days.

The fund will allow for higher borrowing limits for qualifying customers and extended repayment periods for borrowers with existing facilities.

Safaricom and the lender will also open the door to customers who had been blacklisted at the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) but have since cleared their facility.

“We shall open credit limits to those customers who had been listed because of defaulting on small amounts, but who are now repaying their loans. Customers who need relief are advised to get in touch with us to work out the respective support areas,” said Mr. Oigara.

Other relief measures available to individual customers, and small business owners will include renegotiations of the loan contracts to either allow repayment moratoriums, or extending the repayment periods up to one year. The Bank will foot the legal costs associated with the loan restructuring.

“We stand with Kenyans and all our customers at this time as our country and the world grapples with the pandemic. Our firm priority remains ensuring that our employees, customers, business partners and the entire population remains safe and free from the virus,” said KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara.

KCB has more than 22 million customers who borrowed KShs.212 billion in 2019 on its KCB-MPESA mobile lending platform which is operated in partnership with Safaricom .

These measures are additional to the zero-rating of bank to mobile and mobile to bank transactions in order to increase the usage of digital channels as opposed to cash in order to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.

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