Safaricom’s overdraft facility Fuliza, announced in late 2018, just went live a few days ago. The product has paved its popularity so fast that in just 8 days of its launch, it has attracted an average of a million users.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore said that Fuliza attracted more than 1 million users in its first week and that the numbers surpassed their initial expectations, and could go higher as more people learn about the product.
In its first week, Fuliza issued more than KES 1 billion. At the moment, the carrier is said to have allowed their customers to draw more than KES 1.5 billion, which is an impressive feat.
Functionally, Fuliza allows M-PESA users who have insufficient funds in their wallets to pay bills, buy goods and services, as well as send cash. The amount allocated for customers is based on a transactional profile. You can get access to Fuliza by dialling *234#. The product is also available on mySafaricom app.
A satisfied customer who sought anonymity confesses to be totally startled. He says, “With multiple transactions daily, my bank cannot give me an overdraft oh Ksh 100 while SafaricomPlc can give me a facility of up to Ksh 50,000 based on my transactions. No paperwork, no collateral, just tap and go.”
Once a customer signs up for Fuliza, in the event that they attempt to make a payment and their balance is insufficient, the overdraft will automatically be applied and the payment will go through seamlessly. One then is required to pay back the overdraft facility. The overdraft service, provided by CBA Bank, has a repayment period of up to 90 days.
Unlike short loan services like M-Shwari that have a fixed monthly facility fee based on the amount borrowed, Fuliza attracts a facility fee of 0.5% per day on the outstanding balance. Both Fuliza and M-Shwari are run by Safaricom in partnership with CBA.