M-Pesa users are now able to send money or pay for goods and services when they have insufficient balance in their accounts after part-Vodafone owned Safaricom rolled out Fuliza to all 24.2 million subscribers on its mobile money platform over the weekend.
The rollout of the overdraft facility, in partnership with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), follows a successful pilot programme in November last year.
The company’s decision to develop ways of growing revenue from their mobile money business comes at a time when M-Pesa and data services helped buoy its half-year net earnings by 20.22 per cent to Sh31.5 billion.
With Fuliza, depending on the value of their transactions, M-pesa users will have access to overdrafts of as high as Ksh 50,000.
The overdraft facilty attracts a daily charge of 0.5 per cent of the borrowing as a top-up to enable M-Pesa customers complete transactions. When setting the amount available to individual customers, the two banks will use algorithms based on transactions such as M-Pesa deals and airtime.
How to use the Fuliza service
To sign up for the service, you must be 18 years old and have been an M-Pesa customer for 6 months. If you qualify, go to the MySafaricom app and click the Fuliza tab in M-Pesa or via USSD by dialing *243# .
Once you sign up for the service, you will receive a confirmation message that will give you your overdraft limit.
The charges for the overdraft are a 1% access fee and a maintenance fee on the outstanding balance as per the table below. This means that the sooner you clear the debt, the less you pay overall.
- 0 -100 Ksh: One-time fee of Ksh 2
- 101-500 Ksh: 5 per day
- 501-1000 Ksh: 10 per day
- 1001-1500 Ksh: 20 per day
- 1501-2500 Ksh: 25 per day
- 2501-70000 Ksh: 30 per day
Once you receive an overdraft, you have to pay it within 90 days or you will be in default. When you sign up, you give Safaricom the power to recover the overdraft plus any accrued fees from your M-Pesa account until such a time it is fully paid.