This year Safaricom announced a new M-PESA feature called Fuliza that would offer overdraft services to Mpesa customers. Fuliza is a money lending service that, once you’re subscribed, will automatically top up your Mpesa balance when it’s depleted while transacting.
With Fuliza, you can pay for your goods and services, send money and pay utility bills stress-free even when you run out of money in your Mpesa wallet. In other terms, Fuliza acts like Okoa Jahazi for M-Pesa transactions. When your account runs out of funds, the Fuliza service will allow you to complete the transaction by offering the overdraft amount repayable within a month.
The Fuliza service is a positive step in ensuring ease of doing business in the country. Many Kenyans rely on Mpesa to pay for goods and services. Additionally, many businesses accept Mpesa payments. This cashless method of transacting became widely accepted and Safaricom continually makes progress to improve the service.
As of earlier this month, Mpesa customers can finally use Fuliza services as Safaricom announced it received CBA’s approval. Safaricom hopes that Fuliza will reduce the number of failed transactions and customers will carry out transactions easier.
Users should, however, not mistake Fuliza for M-Shwari. It simply complements M-Shwari services. This means that once activated, Fuliza will automatically pop up when you run out of cash on your M-Pesa wallet while carrying out a transaction as opposed to borrowing a loan from M-Shwari.
How It Works
Customers will be able to pay for products then settle the overdraft amount within a 30 day period. For instance, if you have a bill of Ksh 10,000 which you wish to settle through Lipa na Mpesa Services but only have Ksh 6,000 in your Mpesa wallet, you can get the overdraft using Fuliza. Depending on your credit score, you will receive a Ksh 4,000 top up without cancelling your payment transaction.
Once you have received the loan, you will need to maintain at least 60% of the overdraft limit in your Mpesa account for 30 days. This service attracts an access fee charge of 1% and another maintenance fee per day applies as demonstrated below.
Fuliza targets all Mpesa users not just the ones with M-Shwari. However, those with both M-Shwari and KCB Mpesa, this overdraft will not affect your loan limit either. Customers can still borrow from these services.
The amount that customers can borrow on Fuliza depends on their credit score i.e Mpesa transactions and quick loan repayment. Your loan limit will also be reviewed every 3 months. This will depend on your use and can go up to Ksh 70,000. Any amount deposited into your Mpesa account will go into repaying the Fuliza overdraft amount. You will be penalized for late payment. Safaricom will block access to your Fuliza limit until full payment of the balance.
For this to apply, customers must only be active Mpesa users for at least 6 months. It’s not necessary to have an M-Shwari account to use this service. Additionally, you can use Fuliza as many times as you wish as long as it’s within your credit limit.
How To Subscribe
To subscribe to Fuliza, all you have to do is dial *234# and follow the instructions. The service will be available on the M-PESA Sim Toolkit Application and My Safaricom App. Proceed to the Safaricom icon to access the Fuliza menu. You can check your balance, limit and get your mini statement. Once you’ve subscribed, you can now enjoy a smooth payment experience. Find the Fuliza Terms and Conditions here.