Safaricom to offer Fuliza loans in 6 African countries

Safaricom is set to take its M-Pesa overdraft Fuliza loans service to six new African countries.

These countries include Tanzania, Lesotho, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mozambique. Safaricom has already introduced M-Pesa services in these countries, mainly through its host company known as Vodacom.

“What we have also done with Fuliza is looked at it not just from a Kenyan perspective, but with our (parent) company Vodacom. There are seven countries in Africa that run M-Pesa and we’ll be looking into taking Fuliza to those markets first,” said Safaricom’s Chief Financial Services Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit. “It’s in line with the idea to take other products and services we have developed in Kenya into other markets.”

Safaricom launched Fuliza on January 5. According to Safaricom chief executive officer Bob Collymore, the Fuliza overdraft has gone on to exceed expectations. The platform was launched in collaboration with the Commercial Bank of Africa and the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

Through Fuliza, M-Pesa users are allowed to get top-up loans when they lack funds to complete a transaction. They are allowed to take up to Sh. 70,000 in loans. The money is also transferrable to other mobile subscribers.

M-Pesa subscribers in Vodacom’s Tanzania, the DRC, Mozambique and Lesotho markets expanded by 227,000 customers in three months to hit 13.4 million users at the end of December last year, according to Vodacom.

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