Safaricom Ltd., East Africa’s biggest mobile-network operator, and Commercial Bank of Africa Ltd. introduced a service that allows cellphone users to apply for and receive loans on their handsets.

Safaricom, in which Vodafone Plc owns a 40 percent stake, is the inventor of M-Pesa, the mobile money-transfer system that is used to transact 80 billion shillings ($931 million) a month, according to the company. More transactions are carried out using M-Pesa within Kenya than are processed globally by Western Union Co., the world’s biggest money-transfer business, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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