Safaricom users borrow Sh81 billion on Fuliza in 6 months

The uptake of the Fuliza overdraft service could be a pointer to a credit starved market, with many traditional financial services out of the reach of many Kenyans. Safaricom customers borrowed Sh81 billion over the first six months of this year on the telecommunication company’s Fuliza overdraft facility, new data shows. Analysts at Standard Investment Bank (SIB) say the amount is based on results published by the telco’s partner banks. The Fuliza overdraft facility is a partnership involving Safaricom, Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and KCB Group. With the revenue share split between Safaricom, CBA and KCB Group set at 40 per cent, 40 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, the three entities could have earned as much as Sh2.4 billion over the six months. “In the six months to June 2019, KCB disbursed Sh27 billion, suggesting that CBA would have extended Sh54 billion, bringing the total amount disbursed to Sh81 billion,” said SIB in an analysis of the product. “The current revenue sharing formula for the Fuliza product is 40:40:20 for Safaricom, CBA and KCB respectively. KCB earned Sh484 million in the first half of 2019 in revenue from Fuliza, thus totalling Sh2.4bn for the entire product to end of June 2019, by our estimates.” Using the revenue sharing formula as a guide, SIB said, Safaricom could have more than doubled the revenue earned quarter on quarter to Sh668m. Fuliza was launched in January this year, offering users an overdraft to complete transactions if they run out of funds in their M-Pesa accounts. During the first month after launch, the telco advanced Sh6 billion.

SEE ALSO : How to call without credit on Safaricom

Traditional methods Like its other mobile lending products like M-Shwari and KCB M-Pesa, Fuliza is run in partnership with the two banks using algorithms from M-Pesa’s transactional data to determine loan limits for users. Analysts have in the past said Fuliza could in the medium to long-term present competition to traditional payment methods like credit and debit cards. This has reignited the debate on whether Safaricom should also be subjected to financial sector regulations. The service partly contributed to Safaricom’s growth in the financial year to March this year, but its full impact will be felt in this year’s numbers. It could be among the genius moves that the company has made in the recent past as it seeks to increase revenue […]

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