In December of 2019, we learnt of Safaricom’s plan to get into investments of unit trusts with a product called Mali. According to the information, you’d be able to invest as little as KES 100, while earning daily interest.
The news was big, and Safaricom had to issue a statement saying it was still a premature period to comment on future products. Since then though, if you dialed *230# you’ve been able to see both ‘Mali’ and ‘Bima’ with a disclaimer that these are products that are yet to go live.
Well, Safaricom Mali is now live. You can access it from the M-Pesa app, under services. This comes a few days after the product received regulatory approval. With it live, we now know who Safaricom is partnering with. That’s Genghis Capital Limited.
How to access Safaricom Mali:
- Go to M-Pesa App
- Under Services Tab, select Mali
- Click Opt in
- You can also use *334#
Benefits of Mali:
- Convenience and
- High Returns
Mali is convenient as it allows you to quickly and easily invest from as low as KES 100, to as high as KES 300,000 per day. Safaricom says there are zero transaction charges when moving money.
You’re also promised returns of up to 10% annually. Though according to Section 4.6 of the Terms and Conditions, if you sign up as an ‘Investor’, you acknowledge the inherent risk associated with the selected investment products. Safaricom and Genghis will not be liable for the consequences of market influences and consequent changes in interest rates.
Mali’s fees and charges:
While there are no transaction costs when moving money to and from Mali, as an investment tool there are charges that apply. It is not clear how these charges will be handled as of yet, but it is important to know of their existence.
- 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. Genghis 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.
To invest with Safaricom Mali, you need to be 18 years and above, and have kept an M-Pesa active account for at least 3 months.
In terms of privacy, the fund manager Genghis also has access to your personal information.
You should also not be able to Fuliza to your investment account.
As of writing this, I’ve not been able to add any money to the investment tool. Once I am able to do that, I will have another article on my experience with Mali.