Safaricom has today held a press conference with NCBA and KCB Banks to announce new Fuliza tariffs effective October 1st 2022. It is interesting to note that the companies have called them “tariffs” and not “interest rates”. When Fulzia – which has since become a huge money maker for Safaricom – was announced back in 2019, the company stylised the product as an “overdraft facility“.
Fuliza is co-operated by Safaricom PLC, NCBA and KCB Banks. It therefore makes sense to see them announce the new rates together.
The new rates will benefit all Fuliza customers who have opted-in and have a positive limit, with no outstanding balance. Those with an existing loan facility will need to however pay the current daily maintenance fees. They will only enjoy the new rates once they clear their balances.
It’s not clear if the new tariffs are permanent, or if they will be revised upwards later on.
The new Fuliza Interest rates are as follows:
|Amount in KES||Old Rates||NEW Rates||% Change|
|One-time Access Fee||1%||1%||No Change|
|1 – 100||KES 0 Daily Maintenance Fee (DMF)||KES 0 DMF|
|101 – 500||KES 5 DMF||KES 2.5 (Free first three days)||50%|
|501 – 1,000||KES 10 DMF||KES 5 (Free first three days)||50%|
|1,001 – 1,500||KES 20 DMF||KES 18||10%|
|1,501 – 2,500||KES 25 DMF||KES 20||20%|
|2,501 – 70,000||KES 30 DMF||KES 25||16.7%|
Safaricom has also stated that for people getting overdrafts of KES 1,000 and below, they shall enjoy a waiver on Daily Maintenance Fees for the first 3 days.
Fuliza has proven to be a huge moneymaker for the company. As of August 2022, reports said Kenyans were borrowing as much as KES 1.6 Billion DAILY from Fuliza. That’s huge, and it makes sense for the three partners to reduce the fees for repayment – as the product has been viewed as negatively impacting on Kenyans’ livelihood.
It’ll be interesting to see reactions and uptake with the reduced fees.