During the announcement of the company’s Half Year results, Safaricom took the opportunity to announce that they will be introducing overdrafts on M-Pesa, the largest mobile money service in Kenya by revenue and transaction volume.
The overdraft service will be available on a number of M-Pesa transactions, including Lipa na M-Pesa and P2P transfers and will be facilitated by KCB and CBA, who are behind popular M-Pesa services, KCB M-Pesa and M-Shwari, respectively.
“Together with CBA and KCB, we’ve spent the last month piloting an overdraft facility on M-PESA, which allows customers to complete their Buy Goods, Paybill and Send Money transactions even when they have insufficient funds,” said Bob Collymore, Safaricom’s CEO.
“I am pleased to announce that together with our partners we have received the Central Bank of Kenya’s approval to roll out the service under the name Fuliza,” added Bob.
Fuliza will go live as from November 5th, 2018 and will be accessible through *234#.
How this will work is that, if you paying a bill worth Kes.2,000 and only have Kes.1,000 on M-Pesa, you can get the overdraft and the payment will be made seamlessly. You will then be required to pay back the overdraft facilitated to you. Think of it as Okoa Jahazi for M-Pesa.
On top of this, Safaricom also announced a partnership with Western Union that would allow M-Pesa users to send money to anyone through Western Union. “We have partnered with Western Union to make it possible for our customers to send money via M-PESA to virtually any individual or business Worldwide. The recipient of this money will then be able to withdraw the funds either from their bank or any one of over 500,000 Western Union outlets around the world,” said Mr Collymore.
At the moment, M-Pesa has 21 million active monthly users who perform an average of 12 transactions every month, propelling revenue from the service to grow by 18.02%, earning Safaricom a total of Kes.35.5 billion.