Safaricom Loans: How to Use Fuliza M-PESA

  • Imagine this, you want to send Ksh2,000 to someone but you have only Ksh1,000 in your M-PESA account. In normal circumstances, the transaction will not be completed due to insufficient funds. 

    With Fuliza, you will be able to complete the transaction by even though you do not have the exact amount. 

    If you have even been in such a situation, then keep reading this article to find out how you can Fuliza M-PESA.

    What is Fuliza M-PESA?

    When you have more than 25 million customers using M-PESA, a lot of data is generated. 

    This data can inform key business decisions based on customer insights, which is what happened when Safaricom’s Financial Services and Big Data teams took a closer look at the data flowing through the mobile money transfer and payments platform. 

    They noticed something interesting: although there were numerous transactions cancelled every day because of insufficient funds, 58 per cent are completed within two days. 

    This eureka moment became the beginning of Kenya’s first and only mobile overdraft service, Fuliza.

    Fuliza is a Swahili word meaning ‘continuously flowing’. (It comes from the word) “mfululizo.”

    When Safaricom was coming up with that name, there was quite an interesting debate about it. Most people wanted to call it Okoa M-PESA or “ Mfululizo” but they eventually settled on Fuliza since it just fitted well.

    According to  Chief Financial Services Officer at Safaricom  Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Fuliza is short. If they called it “Mfululizo” it would’ve been a bit of a tongue twister.

    “Fuliza is Kiswahili sanifu and resonates with all age groups…it is a very unique word. It’s the same way we got M-Shwari, from the phrase “niko shwari”, meaning “I am alright.” Fuliza is now another Kenyan buzzword,” he divulged.

    Note: Although people might call it Fuliza loan, it is not a loan facility but is rather an overdraft service. 

    You will not be able to withdraw this amount though, you can only send or use Lipa na M-PESA. 

    How Fuliza works

    Fuliza is not enabled to every account by default and this is a good thing as it will prevent you from accidentally using the service if you did not intend to do so in the first place.

    To opt-in, just dial *234# and choose Fuliza M-PESA. You will be presented with Fuliza Terms and Conditions which you will have to agree to. 

    To check your Fuliza limit, balance or even to opt out, you can dial *234# and follow the screen prompts. 

    Where does Fuliza Apply?

    Fuliza overdraft only comes in to help you when you don’t have sufficient funds in your M-PESA account to complete a transaction. And this is in a couple of ways:

    1. Lipa na M-Pesa to Pay Bills e.g. Kenya Power, Water Bills, etc.

    2. Lipa na M-Pesa to Till Numbers e.g. Supermarkets, Transport, etc.

    3. Sending Money

    How do you repay Fuliza?

    Repaying the amount awarded to you is easy, just deposit money to your M-PESA account and it will be deducted from that.

    If you have used M-Shwari, then you know this is the opposite of that. For M-Shwari, you have to choose to pay the loan unlike with Fuliza where the amount is deducted automatically just like Okoa Jahazi. 

    Fuliza Charges

    There are charges that Fuliza attracts that you should know about before getting started. 

    There is an access fee of 1 per cent and a maintenance fee.

    You will be charged between Ksh2- Ksh30 per day each day the account is overdrawn. 

    So if you have a Fuliza Overdraft of Ksh200, you’ll be charged Ksh2 one-off fee, plus Ksh5 daily until you repay.  

    Below are the charges to expect when using Fuliza:

    Amount        Tariff

    0 -100             One-time fee of Ksh 2

    101-500          Ksh 5 per day

    501-1000        Ksh 10 per day

    1001-1500      Ksh 20 per day

    1501-2500      Ksh 25 per day

    2501-70000    Ksh 30 per day

    Fuliza Limits

    The limit is the maximum amount you can get and should be repaid in 30 days.  

    The amount you are eligible to get depends on your account and will be reviewed every 3 months depending on how you use the app. 

    To grow your Fuliza limit, Safaricom states that you should continue using Safaricom and M-PESA services frequently and repay Fuliza M-PESA on time by topping up your M-PESA account.

    You can use Fuliza as many times as you need as long as you are within the allocated Fuliza M-PESA limit.

    Key Facts about Fuliza

    1. ‘Fuliza-ing’ can limit your ability to use mobile money services. 

    You and I, or a person close to us has at one time warned that their M-PESA wallet has Fuliza, and cannot receive funds intended for a given task/project/payment.

    Any funds received or deposited in your M-PESA account will automatically be used to clear your outstanding Fuliza M-PESA. 

    2. Should you send money to a wrong number (that has been overdrawn), then you cannot get those funds back unless the recipient hopefully refunds the cash wrongfully sent to them. 

    M-PESA reversal process applies as long as the recipient has not utilized the funds. You can also initiate reversal by sending the M-PESA SMS to 456 (NB: Transactional charges will not be reversed).

    This, however, does not solve the inconvenience therein, and in some cases, recipients can disappear into thin air and there is nothing you can do about it unless you involve the Police.
    3. Every M-PESA registered line will be treated as a different account.  Each mobile number will qualify for Fuliza M-PESA and will be awarded a limit.
    4. You can opt out of Fuliza through USSD or MySafaricom App as long as one does not have an outstanding facility. 

    a) USSD: Dial *234# > Select M-PESA Products > Select Fuliza > Opt Out 

    b) My Safaricom App > M-PESA > Fuliza > Opt Out 

    5. Safaricom’s Fuliza is in partnership with Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB). 

    CRB listing

    Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) is the company that keeps track of your credit rating so that potential lenders (Banks, Sacco’s, Microfinance firms, etc.) can assess your creditworthiness all the while keeping a record of defaulters. 

    Most companies and institutions avoid hiring loan defaulters like a plague.

    If your name is listed on CRB Kenya, chances are very high that potential employers who use CRB records as hiring criteria won't give you a listening ear.

    It is also part of pre-employment screening and requirement for integrity clearance for public office jobs.

    More so, many insurance companies like car insurance or personal health cover providers will charge you higher premiums compared to someone with a better credit score.

    Every Fuliza customer will be listed with CRB as follows: 

    a) Positive Listing

    This will apply to all active Fuliza customers with no outstanding amount overdue. 

    b) Negative Listing

    This will apply to all active Fuliza customers with an outstanding amount overdue. 

    Note: The pre-listing notice period is 30 days. 

    Fuliza customers' rights on CRB

    1. A customer has a right to know what information the institution has submitted to the Bureau regarding that customer, access credit reports relating to the customer that are kept in a database administered by a Bureau. 

    2. A customer shall be entitled to a free copy of their credit report from a Bureau, or its agents, in the following instances;

    (a) at least once per year;

    (b) within thirty days of receiving an adverse action notice issued under regulation 50.
    3. The customer has a right to dispute information shared with the CRB if they feel it is inaccurate, erroneous or outdated by notifying the Bureau in writing of the information disputed.

    Where a customer requests a Bureau for a credit report, the Bureau shall, within five working days of receiving a request in writing provide to the customer a copy of all customer information relating to the customer held by the Bureau.

    4. A customer shall be entitled to a free copy of their credit report from a Bureau once every six months after making a request to a Bureau to have inaccurate information corrected in the database.

    5. Where the customer disagrees with the resolution of the disputed information, the customer may request the Bureau to attach a statement of not more than one hundred words to the customer’s credit report, setting out the customer’s claim that the information is not accurate and the Bureau shall take reasonable steps to comply with the customer’s request.


    You can visit any Safaricom Retail outlet or Contact the Safaricom Call Centre on 100 or 200 for any queries or complaints.