M-Pesa users can now send money or pay for goods and services when they have insufficient balance in their accounts after Safaricom rolled out Fuliza to all subscribers on its mobile money platform over the weekend.
The overdraft service — known as Fuliza, will enable customers to send money or pay for goods and services when they have insufficient balance in M-Pesa wallets.
The telco is betting on the facility — a loan version of Okoa Jahazi for airtime and data bundle — to sustain its business volumes amid fears that steep increases in taxes could slow its growth momentum in the second half of the year.
Rollout of the overdraft facility to the firm’s 24. 2 million M-Pesa users follows a successful pilot programme in November last year.
With Fuliza, M-pesa users can now get overdrafts of as high as Sh50,000 depending on the value of their transactions through the service that was rolled out on Saturday.
The telco launched the overdraft facility in partnership with KCB and CBA. It attracts a daily charge of 0.5 per cent of the borrowing as a top-up to enable M-Pesa customers complete transactions.
The two banks will use algorithms based on transactions such as M-Pesa deals and airtime use to set a limit on amount which can be accessed by individual customers.
Safaricom had 24,206,341 active subscriptions on its M-Pesa platform at the end of September, according to industry data by the Communications Authority of Kenya.
Fuliza is the latest innovation by the firm as it seeks to leverage on M-Pesa to generate additional revenue for Safaricom.
Growth in data services slowed in the period, expanding by 10.8 per cent to Sh19.45 billion while voice revenues were nearly flat, increasing 1.4 per cent year-on-year to Sh48.03 billion.
The overdraft facility being rolled out in partnership with KCB and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), will attract a daily charge of 0.5 per cent of the borrowing as a top-up to enable M-Pesa clients complete transactions.
KCB and CBA, which have leveraged on M-Pesa platform to offer instant mobile loans (MShwari and KCB M-Pesa respectively), will use algorithms based on transactions such as M-Pesa deals and airtime use to set a limit on amount which can be accessed by individual customers.