Kenya’s largest telecommunication provider as per revenue and transaction volume, Safaricom, has announced that it will introduce overdrafts for M- Pesa users.
The new service which is dubbed Fuliza will work the same way the mobile service provider’s Okoa Jahazi works. Available for Lipa na M-Pesa and P2P platforms, it will allow senders to pay for goods or services even when they don’t have enough money on their M Pesa account.
“For example, if you want to buy goods worth Sh 5,000, but you only have Sh 4,500, you can borrow the bit that you don’t have (Sh500) within the limit that you have, just like an ordinary overdraft,” explained Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore.
The overdraft facility will be rolled out in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and will be available on some M-Pesa platforms, such as Lipa na M-Pesa and P2P transfers.
Fuliza will attract a daily interest of 0.5 percent on the borrowed amount to enable M- Pesa customers complete transactions.
On top of the overdraft facility, Bob Collymore also announced that Safaricom has partnered with Western Union allowing M- Pesa customers to send money via the bank.
“We have partnered with Western Union to make it possible for our customers to send money via M-PESA to any individual or business Worldwide. The recipient of this money will then be able to withdraw the funds either from their bank or any one of over 500,000 Western Union outlets around the world,” said Mr. Collymore.
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