Kenya's leading mobile service provider Safaricom is set to launch an overdraft facility for its Mpesa customers.
Dubbed Fuliza, the facility will allow Mpesa users to send money or pay for goods and services even when they have insufficient funds in their accounts.
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore says the overdraft limit could be up to Sh50,000, depending on the value of transactions.
“For example, if you want to buy goods worth Sh 5,000 but you only have Sh 4,500, you can borrow the bit that you don’t have (Sh500) within the limit that you have, just like an ordinary overdraft,” Collymore notes.
“You keep doing this again and again until you hit your limit, so it’s not that you borrow with us again,” he adds.
The overdraft facility, which was piloted in October 2018, will be rolled out in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).
“We don’t have final, final approval from Central Bank yet but we expect by middle of next week, we will have it. It is a bit of a milestone for the three of us (Safaricom, KCB and CBA) and the pilot has shown that customers really like it,” says the CEO.
The overdraft will attract a daily interest of 0.5 percent of the borrowed amount as a top-up to enable M-Pesa customers complete transactions.