Safaricom, Kenya’s leading telecommunications company, has introduced Fuliza ya Biashara, an innovative overdraft facility that grants small business owners access to loans of up to KSh 400,000. CEO Peter Ndegwa explains that this service caters specifically to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Fuliza ya Biashara will be accessible through the M-Pesa business till, where business owners can activate the service by dialing *234#. This groundbreaking facility empowers entrepreneurs to complete transactions by overdrawing their accounts when their M-Pesa Business tills lack sufficient funds.
To qualify for the overdraft, a business owner must opt into the M-Pesa Business till and maintain an active account for at least six months. Overdrafts are automatically repaid from incoming till payments and carry a modest 2% fee.
Safaricom aims to bridge the gap in affordable credit access for small and micro businesses that have historically faced exclusion due to their size and perceived risk. By offering this service, the company aspires to support and stimulate the growth of local businesses, fostering a stronger economy.
Activating Fuliza ya Biashara is a simple process. After dialing *234#, users choose M-Pesa Business Till, select business loans, then Fuliza ya Biashara, accept the terms and conditions, and finally, input their operator ID and PIN. A confirmation message will follow, assigning a Fuliza ya Biashara limit.
Fuliza, Safaricom’s M-Pesa overdraft service, has experienced consistent growth since its inception in 2019, as Kenyans increasingly rely on it for financial support. Between April 2021 and March 2022, Fuliza recorded daily transactions surpassing KSh 1.4 billion, with total loans reaching KSh 502.6 billion. During the same period, the number of subscribers grew to 6.9 million borrowers, up from 5.9 million the previous year.
In addition to Fuliza ya Biashara, Safaricom recently launched a new M-Pesa payment method utilizing QR codes. This innovative feature offers a secure, seamless, and unified digital payment solution, working towards a more financially inclusive ecosystem. Safaricom has partnered with local payment service providers, banks, and card schemes to implement this cutting-edge service.