Kenyan mobile network operator Safaricom has launched an overdraft feature, Fuliza on the M-Pesa wallet, which will enable users buy stuff and pay bills even if they have insufficient funds.
According to a report by Techweez, Fuliza was launched to address the issue of failed transactions on M-Pesa, 58% of which is caused by insufficient funds.
Since Tuesday, when Fuliza was officially launched, M-Pesa users can now access the overdraft facility by using the USSD code #234# or the updated mySafaricom app. Once a customer signs up for Fuliza, an overdraft will be automatically applied in the case where they do not have enough funds in their wallet to complete a transaction.
The overdraft service will be facilitated by the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) Kenya and will attract an interest rate of 0.5% per day, with a facility term of up to 90 days.
Users can make as many requests as they can, as long as it is within their overdraw limit, which will be dependent on their credit score.
According to Techweez, Safaricom will automatically deduct the amount due from funds deposited or received into a user’s M-Pesa wallet until the overdraft is cleared in full. However, transactions will be processed first; all bills settled before the deduction of overdraft from a user’s wallet.