Kenyans borrowed up to KES 1.32 billion on a daily basis from Safaricom’s overdraft facility Fuliza between April and September this year. This was confirmed in Safaricom’s latest half-year financial results underlining the increased dependence on loans for household consumption.
According to the report, Safaricom handed out KES 242.6 billion in the 183-day period. This is accounts for a 62.4% increase from a similar period last year when the telco disbursed KES 149.4 billion through Fuliza.
Owned by Safaricom, NCBA and KCB Group, Fuliza has rapidly proven to be a staple among Kenyans since its launch in 2019. Currently, the overdraft service has 1.7 million active daily users.
These figures presented by Safaricom certainly confirm how Fuliza has gone above other loan products like KCB M-PESA and M-Shwari. This is despite both being around long before Fuliza came to fruition. During the half-year, M-Shwari lent out KES 43.4 billion while KCB M-PESA gave out KES 22.9 billion.
However, it should be noted that M-Shwari has reported some very positive numbers in deposits surpassing every major bank in the country.
In return though, Fuliza earned Safaricom KES 2.8 billion in the half-year period. This is a 32.2% increase from the KES 2.1 billion it earned last year.
Despite such huge numbers, it is clear that Safaricom is looking to draw revenues from other streams other than just loan services. This was confirmed this week as the telco confirmed plans to develop up to 65 mini-apps designed to offer various solutions within the Safaricom and M-PESA app.
“We are focused on driving access to affordable smartphones to harness the power of technology. This will in turn help build stronger digitally connected and inclusive societies. We aim to become a digital-first incise-led company that enables platforms and ecosystems partnerships,” Mr Ndegwa said.