Back in March, Safaricom announced they’d signed up more than 4 million customers to its MPESA Fuliza Overdraft facility. In an article on euromoney.com, a Sterling Capital analyst projected that Fuliza will in Full Year 2019/20 account for about 2.6% of the total MPESA revenue. In the same article, Sterling predicted that Fuliza could advance as much as $2 Billion to customers by 2020.
Two billion dollars is over 200 billion Kenyan shillings. Although that sounded very far off, it may become a reality come next year if these these new numbers received some days ago from the Standard Investment Bank (SIB) are to be believed.
The Standard and Capital Business are reporting that the SIB is estimating Fuliza gave out over 80 billion Kenyan shillings to Safaricom customers in the past 6 months.
“In the six months to June 2019, KCB disbursed Sh27 billion, suggesting that CBA would have extended Sh54 billion, bringing the total amount disbursed to Sh81 billion” – report.
The Fuliza Overdraft facility is as a result of a partnership between Safaricom PLC, Commercial Bank of Africa Group (CBA), and KCB Group Ltd. Revenue share is split between the three at 40% for Safaricom, 40% for CBA and 20% for KCB.
These estimations are most likely accurate given that during Fuliza’s first month, Safaricom had advanced 6 billion shillings to users.
SIB says, “Based on the current run rate and our estimates on costs and forward guidance provided by Safaricom’s management for Financial Year 2020, we expect Fuliza to account for at least 25 percent of Earnings Before Interest and Taxes growth.”
Fuliza has been hailed as being revolutionary, and unlike any other services. During the launch of the service, Safaricom said the reason for Fuliza was to help customers complete transactions. They had noticed that many customers failed to complete transactions over M-Pesa because of lack of sufficient balance in their accounts. With Fuliza, one can quickly finish a transaction, then top-up their account later on.
I think the success of Fuliza continues to show just how Kenya’s economy has grown due to M-Pesa. However one views it, and with all the questions and concerns about high interest rates, and getting Kenyans at a fix where they live from loan to loan, the availability of such credit facilities has helped many Kenyans with quick fixes when stuck, capital for small businesses and much more.