There has been a remarkable increase in the number of Kenyans utilizing the Safaricom overdraft facility service of fuliza. It was introduced in the year 2019 to aid the customers who required urgent cash that is below 2000 and it has gained popularity among the Kenyans as they can complete their transaction and buy what they need as much as they may be having less cash in their account.
The rate of borrowing from this facility has increased greatly by 1.34 billion daily in the last six months. The number of Kenyans signing up daily for fuliza is 700,000 making the total number of active fuliza users be 1.7million. Fuliza has brought stiff competition to other mobile loan lending facilities such as the KCB M-PESA of the Kenya Commercial Bank and M Shwari of the NCBA bank. They have had a decline in the number of customers utilizing their loan facilities as opposed to when fuliza had not been introduced yet. I think it is a win-win situation for them as these two loan lending facilities have a share in the Safaricom fuliza overdraft service. It is also an advantage to them as fuliza always has a 99% rate of repayment because immediately the debtor receives cash in their mpesa account the loan they had of fuliza is immediately repaid.
Is this Fuliza helping us? I think that it is only providing short-term aid to us but in the long run, we are training ourselves to be a country and citizens that live in debt. Fuliza loan is very addictive. We have been carried away by this easy way of acquiring cash such that some people have gone to the extent of getting several sim cards which are signed up for fuliza and are actively using the services in all these sim cards, at the end, when they work and get paid, all the money goes back to the credit lending facility.
The culture of saving and investing is slowly being chocked by fuliza. A high number of Fuliza users are Kenyans who live below the poverty line. He who feeds you controls you and no doubt Kenyans are being controlled by fuliza. It’s a wake-up call to Kenyans that we need to find something extra to do so that our cash flow may be increased if we keep on borrowing in this overdraft facility we are getting ourselves into a rat race that we may never be able to exit.