Subscribers more than doubled their borrowings from Safaricom’s overdraft facility Fuliza in the six months leading to June when Kenya was in a lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Uptake of Fuliza loans increased from Sh81 billion to Sh176 billion during that period compared to the same period last year, which translated to borrowing of Sh967 million each day. 

The increased Fuliza borrowing came at a time when the Kenyan economy lost more than two million jobs as companies grappled with the adverse effects of Coronavirus on their bottomline. 

Tough times for most Kenyans saw many resort to the Safaricom M-Pesa overdraft loan facility which lets subscribers access limited cash if their mobile wallets have insufficient money. 

NCBA and KCB are the underwriters of Fuliza in partnerships with Safaricom, with NCBA lending Sh132 billion through Fuliza within the six months leading to June while KCB lent Sh44 billion. 

The Fuliza debt is recovered automatically from a subscriber’s M-Pesa balance until fully recovered and the facility is structured in a way to ensure limited default.