In case you have not heard, Fuliza is the new buzz in town. It is Safaricom’s newest mobile phone based overdraft facility. “How is it different from Mshwari and KCB – MPesa loan facilities?” You ask. Here is a non-exhaustive list of differences and similarities between Safaricom’s Fuliza, Mshwari, and KCB – Mpesa.
First, Fuliza is not a loan product; it is a service that allows you to pay for goods and services on the Mpesa platform when you do not have sufficient money in Mpesa. Before you get ideas on splurging, Fuliza comes with a limit based on your credit history with Safaricom.
Second, Unlike Mshwari and KCB – MPesa where you are free to withdraw the funds and spend as you wish, Fuliza is only available for transactions done through Mpesa. So if you were planning to use Fuliza to pay your Uber driver who only takes cash; Sorry!
Third, the facilities differ in repayment periods. Fuliza is a short term facility that should be repaid within a day or two. Failure to repay attracts a daily charge of between Ksh5 to Ksh30 based on the outstanding balance. In contrast, Mshwari and KCB – MPesa allow for repayment within 30 days with no additional charges. If you need three reminders from Safaricom before paying up, may be Fuliza is not for you.
Lastly, Fuliza automatically deducts funds deposited in your Mpesa account to settle outstanding amounts. Gladly, Mshwari and KCB – MPesa allow you to repay the loan at your own discretion.
Despite the differences, Fuliza and the Safaricom loan facilities; Mshwari and KCB – Mpesa share some features. One similarity is that borrowers are required to repay the outstanding balance within 30 days from the borrowing date. Defaulters suffer a penalty and earn their place on the list of high risk borrowers.