Minors will not be able to use Fuliza or M-Shwari in M-Pesa junior accounts.
Safaricom is preparing M-PESA Junior Accounts for minors, we’ve learnt. Young people under the age of 18 will be able to use the mobile money program, which has proven popular in Kenya and profitable for the telecoms operator, pending regulatory permission.
Last week, the carrier’s CEO, Peter Ndegwa, made the statement during the publication of Safaricom’s FY results for the fiscal year ending March 30, 2022.
The CEO had said:
“We plan to soon launch an M-PESA Junior Product for our children who may have access to mobile phones,”
It’s understandable that the corporation wants to broaden the breadth of its M-PESA offerings.
M-PESA was revealed to be the telco’s most popular payment method at the event. M-PESA, for example, grew by 30.3 percent year on year to KES 107.69 billion. The reintroduction of taxing previously zero-rated transactions in January 2021 bolstered this argument.
M-PESA transaction value increased 34.0 percent year on year to KES 29.55 trillion, while transaction volume increased 34.9 percent to 15.75 billion. Even better for telecom, the product generates the most money, accounting for 38.3 percent of service revenue in FY22, while voice contributed 29.6%.
Increasing the number of individuals who use the service might help the company earn more money in the future, and that includes enrolling minors who have access to phones and have their SIM cards registered under their parents’ or guardians’ names.
However, some issues have been raised about whether a minor will have access to loans, overdrafts or saving products. It is a big issue because the said products have seen some Kenyans fall into the debt trap, including cases where others have been unable to pay their loans, or are constantly accessing overdraft facilities (Fuliza) in an endless loop just to get by.
Minors will not be able to get loans or savings products, according to Safaricom.
They will be unable to utilize Fuliza, KCB M-PESA, or M-Shwari as a result, leaving them with the choice of sending/receiving money or paying bills.
New information on Junior Accounts has not been released, but we will learn more once the service becomes live before the end of the quarter.