Back in 2019, Safaricom PLC introduced an investment product dubbed Safaricom Mali ( Swahili word for wealth ). M-pesa users would be able to invest with as little as Ksh 100 in Unit Trusts while earning daily interest.
Since then, Mali has been undergoing testing for months, if you dialed *230# you’d see both Mali and Bima with a disclaimer that the products were yet to go live. Safaricom Mali is now live and out of the testing phase. This comes after the product received regulatory approval.
Users can now access the investment product in the M-Pesa app under the services tab. Safaricom has partnered with Geghis Capital, an investment solutions provider licensed by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) to bring fourth the investment product.
How To Register For Safaricom Mali
1. Via USSD
- Dial *230# on your phone.
- A pop-up menu will appear with the M-PESA terms and conditions.
- Select option 1 to accept the Safaricom Mali terms and conditions.
- Click next to continue.
- You will receive an SMS from Mali.
- Enter your M-PESA PIN.
- Next, enter a valid email address.
- Provide your next of kin contact.
2. Via M-Pesa App
- Go to M-Pesa App
- Under Services Tab, select Mali
- Click Opt in
Additionally, Mali requires you to have been a registered M-PESA user for over 3 months in order to qualify. Users who have replaced their SIM cards in the last three days also have to wait longer to be eligible to use the investment tool.
Users will be able to easily invest from as low as Ksh 100, to as high as Ksh 300,000 per day. Safaricom says there are zero transaction charges when moving money.
If a user has multiple M-Pesa accounts, each line is treated as a separate account. According to the Terms & Conditions, users will not be able to Fuliza to the investment account.
Genghis Capital will also have access to your personal information.
Fees and Charges
There are no transactional costs when moving money to and from the Mali account, but third party charges such as management fees, custodian and trustee fees do apply. Here are some of the charges you need to know about:
- Withholding Fee – Government charges 15% withholding tax on investment fund and not interest earned.
- Fund manager’s Fee – This will be charged at 2.0% per annum. In this case Geghis is the fund manager.
- Trustee’s Fee – This will be charged at 0.20% per annum. The Trustee is a Bank here referring to KCB Bank.
- Custodial Fees – This will be charged at 0.15% per annum subject to a minimum fee of KES 10,000 per month. The custodian is another bank appointed by the trustee, here referring to SBM Bank Kenya.
As of the time of publishing this article, I haven’t been able to deposit funds into the Mali account, once this is possible, I’ll do a follow up article on how my experience with the product has been.
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