When Fuliza was first launched in 2019, it had limited use cases. Users could only send cash to friends and family, use Lipa Na M-PESA services such as Paybill and Buy Goods, and buy airtime for themselves and others via USSD or the M-PESA app. However, as of the writing of this article, Safaricom has recently introduced a new feature to its popular overdraft facility, Fuliza.
The new feature allows customers to withdraw cash from the Fuliza account, making it even more functional and versatile for its users. The feature has been available for a couple of weeks, but the company has not officially announced it.
The new feature aims to make Fuliza more valuable and convenient for customers. It eliminates the need for customers to get another SIM card that does not have an overdraft to transact, send money to another person who does not have Fuliza so they can withdraw it for them, or even tell a sender not to send money to them because they have an overdraft.
With this new feature, some may argue that Fuliza is now a loan product. However, Safaricom insists it is not a loan product, similar to KCB M-M-PESA and M-Shwari. Regardless of whether it is a loan product, Fuliza has proven to be one of Safaricom’s biggest earners. By March 2022, it had KES 502.66 billion in value of Fuliza disbursements, a 43.1% YoY increase with a 101.5% repayment versus disbursal rate.