Over the next year, M-Pesa customers are predicted to borrow up to Ksh. 200 billion from Fuliza, the newly launched service by Safaricom. This will hopefully see Safaricom generate Ksh. 21billion revenues from the country’s first mobile-based overdraft facility. The service is expected to increase the number of subscribers for Safaricom.
Analysts at Sterling Capital Ltd project that Fuliza will change the game for mobile and digital payments by increasing competition. It will also have a major impact on M-pesa. “Fuliza will have a positive impact on M-Pesa transactional volumes, revenues, customer acquisition as well as retention. We also see it changing the competitive landscape with regards to mobile and digital payments,” said the firm.
In January 2019, Safaricom released the country’s first mobile-based overdraft facility branded. The service allows Mpesa users to transfer money and make payments whenever they run out of funds through their MPesa accounts. It was able to lend its users Sh6 billion in its first month since it started being in operation and has gained over 4.2 million customers.
Fuliza is offered by Safaricom in partnership with CBA Group, which utilize M-Pesa’s transactional data to determine loan limits for users.
Fuliza is one of many digital credit facilities offered by banks and FinTech companies in Kenya. The digital lenders capitalize on Kenya’s high rate of mobile penetration and strong demand for small, easily accessible credit.
Analyst at Sterling Capital in part has a number of projections for Fuliza. He said, “We see a 14.5 per cent growth in M-Pesa revenues for the 2018/19 financial year to Ksh. 72 billion and Ksh. 82.3 billion in the 2019/20 financial year driven by growth in customer money transfer transactions, payments and fees and commissions from strategic business partnerships such as KCB M-Pesa, M-Shwari and Fuliza,”