Safaricom, Huawei win AfricaCom’s ‘Most Innovative Service’ award thanks to Fuliza




Safaricom and Huawei jointly received the ‘Most Innovative Service’ award at AfricaCom 2019 in Cape Town for the telco’s Fuliza service.

The award recognizes the two companies for developing the mobile money overdraft service which enables users with insufficient funds in their M-PESA accounts to borrow money to complete M-PESA transactions. The service was launched in January 2019, in partnership with CBA, and has since registered over 23.6 million M-PESA users, with clients transacting over Kshs 6.2 billion in Fuliza, just one month after its launch.

Michael Joseph, Safaricom’s CEO said: “M-PESA continues to play a leading role in deepening financial inclusion in the country. Fuliza enriches our mobile financial services portfolio, further fulfilling our promise to always provide customers with relevant products and services that meet them at their point of need. We are glad to partner with Huawei in bringing this commitment to life.”

Fuliza is powered by Huawei’s Mobile Money Finance Overdraft platform which allows design, development and deployment of innovative finance products. The platform was created to enable credit overdraft facilities in multiple payment scenarios in a highly secure and stable way.

Over the years, Huawei has worked with Safaricom to improve its mobile financial services and develop new products, especially for loans and savings which can bring many benefits to individuals but also to SMEs to help grow their businesses.

Leo Lu, VP of Huawei Southern Africa Region said: “The award recognizes the two companies for offering Fuliza. With Safaricom in Kenya, Huawei has helped implement financial technology in the form of services like M-PESA and Fuliza. These have unlocked a whole new digital economy in the country.”

David Chen, VP of Huawei Southern Africa Region said: “Financial services requires security and stability. These two elements are in the DNA of all Huawei’s ICT solutions. We have focused on building a world-class application programming interface (API) to enable the local ICT ecosystem to tap into M-PESA to serve the needs of our clients for business success and to nurture the digital economy from a macro perspective.”

With Fuliza, a customer who’s Send Money and Lipa na M-PESA transaction (Buy goods and Pay bill) value is greater than their M-PESA wallet balance, can complete the transaction with the benefit of the Fuliza limit for an access fee of 1%. A maintenance fee of between Kshs 2 to Kshs 30 per day is then applied each day that the amount remains unpaid. Then when the account receives a deposit, the Fuliza overdraft is deducted plus the applicable fees. During this period that one’s M-PESA wallet is overdrawn, the person still has access to their M-Shwari limit.

Fuliza, launched in January this year, is targeted at all Safaricom M-PESA customers that have been active for at least the past 6 months and maintain a good M-Shwari credit performance history. The service is offered on the M-PESA Sim Toolkit (STK) and MySafaricom apps. To subscribe (opt-in) to this service, a customer dials *234*0# and does not necessarily need to be an existing M-Shwari customer in order to opt in to this service. Fuliza is available for Send Money and Lipa na M-PESA transactions.

Fuliza is a followup to M-Shwari which was introduced on November 27, 2012, and which has so far attracted over 25 million customers (with of these being 59% male while and 41% are female).

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