The Iddsalim guide to Mshwari

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Its hard to write about something that most of us know and probably use already so the team thought it would be best to engage the humor infused article on mshwari written back when it launched. We are sure you will totally love it.

The definitive mshwari guide for the average kenyan

Ok. I can decide to copy-paste the 7-page document that Safaricom has sent me, ama I can make this read interesting. But knowing how predictable people are,  I can bet 6.9MB of my code that the first part has already been done. So, acha Salim afanye what Salim does best. Stree-style reporting. Explaining things in a simple manner. Hii si gazeti sijui grammar nininini. Au sio?

What is this mShwari that you speak of?

Another first from Safaricom. I think. Some junguu might come on twirra and claim the rights to the system in 2016 (and have a bandwagon of lamipithecus supporting their claim), but until then, I assume it is owned by Safaricom and CBA.

Also, it starts with M. To the anger of many online “tech gurus”. M-Something. I am sure if Safaricom had consulted the many “gurus” we have, they would have called it “MoneyLendinatorSaver”. But I am OK with M-Shwari. It is succinct, Kenyan and “OURS”.

So, think of paperless banking. Suddenly, you can have a Bank account that you can save money to. Mpesa to MShwari and vice-versa. Then think further. You are in town and you lose your wallet. You wish Okoa-Jahazi had a brother called Okoa-Mpesa. Well, wish no more!! The boy is born. Safaricom can now advance you between KSHS 100 to KSHS 100, 000 INSTANTLY. You pay in 30 days.

Wait, Salim. Take me slowly.

Sawa. Your siz also told me the same. So, here we go:


If you are an Mpesa subscriber, Just go to Mpesa -> My Account -> Update Menu -> Enter Mpesa PIN and give it 15 seconds. No need kuzima simu ama kuangalia KICC etc. Just wait. It is automated.

After 15 seconds or less, you receive an alert on-screen and your Mpesa Menu is renewed.  Now, if you go to Mpesa, you will see a menu called mShwari. Things like “PayBill” and “Buy goods” move to a new menu called “Payment Services” and a new menu called “Withdraw Cash” appears merging “From ATM” and “From Agent”. Nice. Neat. Click on M-Shwari and Click on “Activate Account”. Wait for 10 mins. There. Done.

Pin ni the same na Mpesa. Nothing like mShwari PIN.

Kuna “Terms and Conditions” you need to agree to. Just say yes. Trust me. Ikileta noma nipigie.

From MShwari menu, you now have options like:

  • Show balance
  • Withdraw from Bank
  • Loan -> Request loan

Kwenda huko Salim, What about costs?

Cost za nini? Kwani hii ni Liddos kila kitu ina cost? Mpesa to Mshwari and vice-versa is at no cost. So as an NIC customer, I save myself KSHS 60 per transaction, PAP! NIC to Mpesa is now dead.

Min Balance for MShwari is 0 na Max Balance ni the same na Mpesa Max Balance.

Anything else, ohh, teacher?

Kuna some other stuff. You can’t send money from Mshwari to Mshwari. Or from CBA to Mshwari. Or Mshwari to CBA. Mshwari is Mshwari. Si poko. Weka Mpesa first.

Mshwari does not earn Bonga points. Weka Mpesa first.

Did I say you can Save on Mshwari? Yes you can. With the interest rates below (per annum, calculated daily):

  • KES 1 -­‐ 10,000 2%
  • KES 10,001-­‐ 20,000 3%
  • KES 20,001 -­‐ 50,000 4%
  • KES > 50,001-­‐ 5%

Na hizi loans bana?

Having a bad day? No money. OK, kwanza dial *234*6# to see how much loan you qualify for. Loan decisioning is based on usage of Mpesa, Safaricom Voice, Data and SMS. Wasee wa ku-flash na Okoa Jahazi kuna venye hamjacheka. The loan limit is dependent on your previous loan repayment behaviour and usage of other Safaricom services such as Voice, DATA and M-­‐PESA

The loan has NO interest. There is only a 7.5% facilitation fee on the loan. So even Muslims can take loans. If you borrow 1000, you repay 1075. Sasa noma ni if 30 days pass na haujalipa the 1075, the facilitation fee doubles. Sasa you have to pay 1150. And you MUST pay in full before you can take another loan.

For more information, MShwari FAQs and read for yourself. Enjoy.

Back to Hustle.


This is a repost of an article first published by the now deceased @iddsalim . For our archive of more of his writings check out

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