Kenyans Borrowed Ksh. 1billion Daily in the Past Six Months from Safaricom’s Overdraft Facility Fuliza

Kenyans Borrowed Ksh. 1billion Daily in the Past Six Months from Safaricom’s Overdraft Facility Fuliza

Kenyans borrowed an average of Ksh967 million from Safaricom’s overdraft facility Fuliza in a six month period ending on June 31, 2020.

Cumulatively, the amount rose to Ksh176 billion from Ksh81 billion in the same period for the year 2019, indicating increased appetite for loan facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Fuliza is co-owned by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and NCBA Group, with the latter taking the lion’s share.

NCBA lent Ksh132 billion through Fuliza while KCB Group loaned out Ksh44 billion through the facility in the period under review.

Apart from Fuliza, KCB and NCBA have a partnership with Safaricom for the KCB-M-Pesa and M-shwari respectively, that have lower lending rates compared to Fuliza.

In August, M-shwari raised the minimum loan size to Ksh2,000 up from the previous Ksh500.

To that effect, borrowers seeking for loans below Ksh2,000 will now have to use the Fuliza overdraft service.

M-Shwari charges a facility fee of 7.5 per cent, amounting to an annualised interest rate of 90 per cent while Fuliza charges 1.083 per cent per day or 395.2 per cent per year.

“M-Shwari serves the critical need for planned credit and the demand for lower ad hoc (impromptu) credit is now better served with Fuliza,” NCBA Group managing director John Gachora said.

During the period under review, at least 2.23 million people lost their jobs, reducing the number of workers on payroll or business from 18.1 million in December 2019 to 15.87 million in June 2020.

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