NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23 – Safaricom disbursed an estimated Sh81 billion in digital loans on its M-Pesa’s overdraft facility Fuliza in the six months to June 2019, to demonstrate the skyrocketing appetite for instant micro-loans in Kenya.
According to Standard Investment bank (SIB), Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) extended at least Sh54 billion of the amount while Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) contributed Sh27 billion to the facility.
CBA and KCB are the underwriters of the facility, with amounts disbursed by each pegged on the market share of their respective digital loans offering Mshwari and KCB-Mpesa.
KCB earned Sh484 million in the first half of 2019 in revenue from Fuliza, thus totalling Sh2.4 billion for the entire product as at end of June 2019.
SIB estimates that Safaricom more than doubled the revenue, earning at least Sh968 million in the six months to June 2019.
“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,” SIB says.
Fuliza is owned by the three entities, with Safaricom and CBA tying at 40 percent shareholding each, while KCB owns 20 percent.
The service was launched in January 2019 to provide M-Pesa users with top-up loans whenever they need to make a transaction, but find they lack enough money in their mobile cash wallets.
Customers are charged an access fee of 1 percent and a maintenance fee of between Sh2 and Sh30 per each day that the wallet remains overdrawn.
Whenever customers receive an inflow into their M-PESA wallet, the overdrawn position is deducted.