Safaricom has many credit products, many of which are offered by the telco in partnership with other lenders. The likes of M-Shwari and KCB M-PESA have been around for an extended period and have since been supplemented by an overdraft facility named Fuliza, which, two years after its official rollout has overtaken the former two in terms of revenue.
However, many of you may not be aware of Faraja, a point-of-sale credit that allows customers to buy goods and services. Customers can also use Faraja to pay bills from partner outlet.
The good thing about Faraja is that it charges 0 percent interest, effectively meaning that customers are not charged when they pay back what they have borrowed.
Faraja Credit is an upcoming credit company that is partnering with Safaricom to offer the service. Ideally, it is rewarding long-term Safaricom customers with yet another channel to access credit, and at zero interest. It should go live in the next couple of days or weeks.
The credit period can either be in 7 days or 30 days.
Faraja is available to qualifying M-PESA customers, who have an active Safaricom connection. Credit limits are based on credit viability just like other loan platforms.
Interested parties can opt in by dialing *799#.
To note, Faraja is only available for a maximum of two accounts under one National ID.
Furthermore, a customer can access Faraja as many times as they want, and as far as their credit limit allows.
Just like Fuliza, customers are not allowed to withdraw cash from their Faraja accounts because as said, the funds are only available for point-of-sale transactions and paying bills.
Put differently, you can only use Faraja for Lipa na M-PESA and Pay Bill transactions at outlets that allow Faraja transactions.
The outlets will be listed on the Faraja website, which, for now, is under development, and will be ‘coming soon.’
The outlets can also be found on the Faraja Credit app, which is also in early access at Google Play Store. I have tried to run the app, but it has not been able to opt me in. Therefore, you are better off using the provided USSD.
I have also since found out that Naivas supermarkets is one of the outlets that accept Faraja.
A customer should dial *799# to see their transactions. They can also pay for one transaction at time convenient to them.
The funds are then billed from your M-PESA wallet. The procedure is the same for 7-day or 30-day loans.
Partial repayments are also acceptable. Earlier payments will see a customer increase their credit limits.
Amounts and how to pay for goods
The minimum you can transact is KES 20 and the maximum is KES 100,000, but this is restricted to your approved credit limit.
Dial *799# and select either 1. Buy goods and Services or 2. Paybill.
For Buy Goods, you will be asked to enter the till number, amount and MPESA pin, after which you will receive a notification on the success/failure of your transaction.
For paybill, you will be prompted to enter the business number and account number, followed by MPESA pin and the corresponding notifications. This service requires you to enter your MPESA pin at every transaction and where authentication is required.
You will not pay any penalties for late payment. However, late payment will disqualify you from using the product in the future.
A talk with one of the agents of Faraja is that customers only incur transaction costs when repaying Faraja. However, the company some revenue from merchant collaborations who allow Faraja payments.
Overall, is the product interesting to you and is it something you can use?