Safaricom’s new overdraft facility lends more than Sh1 billion in one week
Kenya’s biggest telecoms operator, Safaricom, notched up one million users for its new overdraft feature, Fuliza, on the M-Pesa platform in just eight days.
According to Safaricom Chief Executive Bob Collymore, these figures have surpassed his expectations.
On Thursday, Collymore told Reuters in an interview that customers have borrowed over 1 billion shillings in just seven days with underwriting from Commercial Bank of Africa and KCB Group.
Fuliza was launched on January 7, this year and enables M-Pesa customers to send or complete mobile payment transactions even if their M-Pesa balance is below the required amount.
Collymore also revealed that the telco company got 1 million (customers) by day eight when they had lent out Sh1 billion ($10 million).
“Now we are probably at Sh1.5 billion ($15 million),” Collymore said.
Customers are charged an access fee of 1 percent and a maintenance fee of between Sh2 and Sh30 per each day that the wallet remains overdrawn.
Whenever customers receive an inflow into their M-Pesa wallet, the overdrawn position is deducted.
M-Pesa has around 25 million active users in Kenya and it has become the principal driver of profit growth for the dominant telecoms provider in East Africa, as revenue from traditional voice and text services has flattened off.