Safaricom’s M-Pesa overdraft service, Fuliza, has seen Kenyans tap 140 billion shillings, nine months after its introduction.
As a result of the frequent use of Fuliza, the Telco’s M-Pesa revenues have significantly increased in the nine months to September 30th.
In January, shortly after its introduction, M-Pesa earned 1.6 billion shillings from Fuliza, which is believed to have been as a result of using the service for gaming activities.
The overdraft service introduced in January 2019, attracted up to 8.8 million users only three months into service, availing 29 billion shillings to customers by March 30th, 2019.
Consequently, M-Pesa’s growth in revenue rose to 41.97 billion shillings, maintaining its year over year revenue earnings at 18.2 percent.
According to analysis, since the introduction of Fuliza earlier in the year, the service was on high demand leading to the continued evolution in Safaricom’s revenue profile as the mobile money service earned revenue equivalent to that earned from voice services.
However, in the same period under review, the company learned that revenue from voice services had been depreciating and by September 30th it had further depreciated to 34.7 percent.
Fuliza was introduced and its performance rose to surpass that of any other lending services in the country, as in the first six months of 2019, most Kenyans resorted to using the service for their short term loans, avoiding commercial banks and other services,
Its incredible performance led KCB Group and NCBA joined Safaricom’s Fuliza, with an agreement of sharing revenue at the ratio of 40:40:20, where each earned around 3.2 billion shillings.
Fuliza, having taken Kenyan by storm, by giving them access to quick and affordable financial services, has not only been blamed for overpowering other lenders but also heaping on Kenyans more debts.
Safaricom’s Interim CEO Michael Joseph, while giving the Telco’s report noted that Fuliza as a product is working well for them, but on the other hand admitted that as much as the service has proved to help many Kenyans, some may be on the verge of getting out of control in terms of debts.
“We are glad that Fuliza has helped people, but at the same time concerned that some may fall out of control. Safaricom would wish to play a part in building responsible borrowing and shaping up the Fintech disruptor,” said Michael Joseph.
Michael Joseph added that to help realize the company’s goal of encouraging responsible borrowing, his immediate action would be to make Fuliza more affordable.