Safaricom and Gulf Bank to launch Sharia-compliant banking service

Thursday 9 November 2017 | 16:39 CET | News

Kenyan operator Safaricom and Gulf African Bank are set to launch a Sharia-compliant banking service through M-Pesa to allow customers to open and operate M-Sharia bank accounts. The M-Sharia platform will be rolled out by next March, targeting the bank’s retail and merchant segments. Gulf said the platform being developed by the two parties will be guided by Sharia principles — not an interest based financing but profit sharing. Islam forbids the charging of interest on credit and money is advanced on a joint ownership arrangement known as asset banking.  

Retail customers will be able to borrow cash through their mobile phones from as little as KES 100 to KES 200,000, while merchants will have a chance to buy stocks by borrowing through that platform from KES 50,000 to KES 500,000. The tenor for the retail service will be thirty days, while that for merchants will be three months.


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