COVID-19 pandemic pushed 20 million Kenyans to take Ksh245 billion Fuliza loans

Fuliza Mpesa. [Photo: courtesy]

In a single day, Safaricom’s overdraft facility, Fuliza processed close to a half a million loan applications.

For every second, Safaricom processes six Fuliza transactions bringing the total number of processed transactions in a day to 492,480.

This was revealed in Safaricom’s 2020 financial year report. So far, Safaricom has disbursed Ksh245 billion through Fuliza.

Compared to the same period under review in 2019, this is 10 times the Ksh29 billion that was disbursed by the giant telco through Fuliza.

The COVID-19 pandemic which pushed Kenyans to the edge drove the total number of Fuliza transactions since January 2020 to 392 million compared to 46 million last year under the same period.

The number of registered Fuliza clients in 2020 is 20 million, a rise from the 10 million in 2019 when it was first launched as an overdraft facility.

“The traction that the popular facility had from its launch in January 2019 continued through the period under review with strong growth in both the number of customers and volume of disbursements,” Safaricom said in the report.

In an earlier report, Kenyans borrowed close to a one billion shillings – Ksh967 million daily – from Safaricom’s Fuliza facility in the six months leading to June 31, 2020.

Fuliza, an overdraft facility is jointly owned by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and NCBA Group, with the latter taking the lion’s share.

For M-Pesa registered users, they are allowed to use Fuliza which advances them credit should their wallets on M-Pesa run dry.