Numbers from Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom indicate Kenya is very much a Fuliza nation. This is based on Safaricom’s Financial Inclusion profile revealed as part of their sustainability report.
Safaricom announced the onset of Fuliza in November 2018 and rolled it out properly in January 2019. To recap, Fuliza is a credit overdraft facility accessible to M-Pesa subscribers.
In that period, a total of KES 701.5 billion has been disbursed via Fuliza. For the financial year ending March 2020, KES 245 billion was disbursed. The next financial year saw KES 351 Billion disbursed. The financial year 2023 had KES 502.6 Billion disbursed via Fuliza.
A year-on-year growth rate of 39.6% in disbursements shows that we are indeed a Fuliza Nation.
The increase in the amount of money disbursed is mirrored by the number of times Safaricom clients are using the credit facility. In its first full financial year, Fuliza registered 392.9 million transactions and this has since grown to 1,456,000 transactions made in the financial year 2023.
M-Shwari Loans Decreasing
In contrast, M-Shwari, a loan facility offered to M-Pesa clients who qualify has witnessed a drop since FY2020. In FY20, M-Shwari loans worth KES129.6 billion were issued. This dropped to KES 91.5 billion in FY23. However, this was a slight increase from FY22 which saw KES 86.1 billion disbursed.
Despite the drop in amount of loans issued, the number of active M-Shwari users and amount of deposits has been growing. In FY20, the platform had 4.66 million active users and currently, it has 5.28 active million users.
Further, M-Shwari deposits have grown from KES 319.9 billion to KES 416.7 billion in the referenced period. However, there was a huge drop in the amount deposited between FY22 and FY23. In FY22, M-Shwari users deposited KES 745.0 billion compared to KES 416.7 billion in the last financial year.
Perhaps, this means Kenyans are more dependent on Fuliza for credit and are looking to M-Shwari to take advantage of its Savings feature. The massive drop in deposits as credit users increase is perhaps an indication that the last one year has been rough for Kenyans.
Recently, it was announced that Apple is looking to partner with M-Pesa. The numbers show M-Pesa Global is very much a service in demand. In the financial year 2023, there were diaspora remittances through M-PESA Global of KES 418 billion. A healthy growth from FY20 that had KES 158 billion.
All in all, M-Pesa remains the mobile money platform of choice for many Kenyans. It currently has 32.1 million active users giving Safaricom an income of KES 117.2 billion. This is a revenue growth of 8.8% from the previous financial year.