Safaricom announced that it would launch an overdraft facility during the release of its Half Year Results in November 2018. The product has since gone live, and was embraced by more than 1 million Kenyans during its first week.
Dubbed Fuliza, the overdraft facility is available for all M-PESA users. In principle, Fuliza offers credit to customers who have insufficient funds under three scenarios: when sending cash to another person, paying bills and buying goods and services.
Activation is done via the USSD *234#. Once activated, you are alerted of your Fuliza limit, which depends on your transaction profile, that is, more high-value transactions and excellent credit score will translate to a higher amount, and vice versa. The maximum amount a user can draw is KES 70,000. Fuliza is also available on mySafaricom smartphone app.
To use Fuliza, all you need is perform either of the mentioned transactions. Insufficient funds will summon Fuliza, which you can then use to complete a payment. It is as easy as it sounds.
To service/repay your overdraft, you just need to make a deposit to your M-PESA account, which will then be used to recover the used funds.
So, how is the product different from M-Shwari? Well, Fuliza is not a loan service, but it does attract interest that is billed each day at 1%. The tariffs are summarized below:
|Band||Tariff (KES per day)|
Fuliza has since issued more than KES 1.5 billion since launch, which will keep growing as more M-PESA customers take advantage of it.