Safaricom customers can now buy airtime through the telco’s overdraft facility Fuliza which was launched in 2019 to address the issue of failed transactions on M-Pesa.
It will enable users to access significantly larger airtime amounts than they currently can through Okoa Jahazi.
This marks a significant expansion of the Fuliza service by the telco which has quickly become one of the largest money-makers for the company since its launch in early 2019.
The service is an alternative to the credit overdraft facility Okoa Jahazi that allows users to borrow airtime when their balance reaches below Sh5 and are charged a facility fee of 10 percent on each round of borrowing.
Safaricom’s financial results for the half-year to September released this month shows the company disbursed Sh242.6 billion in the 183-day period, a 62.4 percent increase from a similar period last year when it loaned out Sh149.4 billion through the facility.
This translates to a borrowing spree of about Sh1.32 billion daily by Kenyans from the service that is owned 40 percent each by Safaricom and NCBA and 20 percent by KCB Group.
Fuliza now has 1.7 million active daily users and has dwarfed Safaricom’s other loan products, KCB M-Pesa and M-Shwari, which were launched by Safaricom years before Fuliza, underlining its popularity.
Fuliza earned Safaricom revenues of Sh2.8 billion in the half-year period, a 32.2 percent increase from Sh2.1 billion it earned the company in the same period last year.
It is also the best performing in terms of repayment rate especially due to its unique model of automatically deducting outstanding dues from any receipts in the borrower’s M-Pesa account.