Safaricom users can now purchase airtime using the telco’s overdraft service Fuliza, which was launched in 2019 to solve the issue of unsuccessful M-Pesa transactions.
Users will be able to get substantially more airtime using the new service, depending on their Fuliza restrictions, than they can now with Okoa Jahazi.
This is a substantial expansion for the telco’s Fuliza service, which has swiftly become one of the company’s most profitable since its inception in early 2019.
The service is an alternative for Okoa Jahazi, a credit overdraft facility that allows users to borrow airtime when their balance falls below Sh5 and charges a ten percent facility fee for each round of borrowing.
Safaricom’s financial reports for the half-year to September, issued this month, reveal that the telco disbursed Sh242.6 billion in the 183-day period, up 62.4 percent over the same period previous year, when it loaned out Sh149.4 billion.
This corresponds to Kenyans borrowing Sh1.32 billion each day from the service, which is owned 40 percent by Safaricom, NCBA, and KCB Group, and 20 percent by KCB Group.
Fuliza today boasts 1.7 million daily active users, outnumbering Safaricom’s two loan products, KCB M-Pesa and M-Shwari, which were released years before Fuliza, demonstrating the app’s success.
Fuliza brought in Sh2.8 billion in income for Safaricom in the first half of the year, up 32.2 percent from Sh2.1 billion in the same period last year.
It also has the best repayment rate, thanks to its unique methodology of automatically deducting outstanding debts from any receipts in the borrower’s M-Pesa account.