Safaricom and KCB Bank Kenya (KCB) have launched fuliza ya biashara. This is a service that enables business owners on Lipa Na M-Pesa to complete payments even with insufficient funds in their till. Fuliza ya Biashara will apply when making transactions from a Lipa Na M-Pesa business till to other till and paybill numbers, when sending money to an individual and when withdrawing to the nominated number or at an agent. The service will advance an overdraft of upto Kshs. 400,000 with a 24 hour interest-free period.
“We launched Lipa Na M-Pesa as a way for businesses to conveniently receive cashless payments through their mobile phones, whenever they are. With more than 538,000 businesses accepting payments through the service, our strategy is to now go beyond collecting payments by providing business owners with tools to manage and grow their businesses. Fuliza ya biashara caters especially for small businesses by providing them with instant, affordable credit of up to Kshs. 400,000, empowering them to rapidly respond to their business needs,” said Peter Ndegwa, chief executive officer, Safaricom.
The innovative product is available through the M-Pesa business app and on the Lipa Na M-Pesa transacting till. Business owners can access a minimum overdraft of Kshs. 1,000. In turn, they can draw multiple overdrafts of up to Kshs. 400,000 based on their assigned limit. The overdraft is automatically repaid from incoming till payments. The amounts that are outstanding beyond twenty four hours are charged at a 2% daily access fee for up to twenty nine days. The fuliza ya biashara limit is reset every time a repayment is made, enabling business owners to immediately access new overdrafts including the amount they just repaid.
“This proposition once again signifies the immense opportunities available within the digital ecosystem managed by KCB and Safaricom. We believe that the roll-out of this exciting feature will give Kenyan entrepreneurs the headroom to scale up their business operations without getting into the danger of not servicing some of their critical needs like payments to suppliers,” said Mrs. Annastacia Kimtai, managing director, KCB Bank Kenya . “As a partner, KCB will conveniently provide the much-needed support to guarantee scalability and access across its various customer delivery touch points,” she added.
Safaricom and KCB say that the launch of Fuliza ya Biashara seeks to meet a gap in access to affordable credit, especially among small and micro businesses that have been previously locked out due to their size and perceived risk. The solution provides each business with a tailored overdraft limit based on transaction history on Lipa Na M-Pesa and repayment history of previous overdrafts.
Fuliza ya Biashara is M-Pesa’s first credit solution dedicated to businesses and the latest in a string of innovations targeting business owners on the platform. In 2020, Safaricom introduced the Lipa Na M-Pesa business till and M-Pesa business app, enabling businesses to make payments from tills and providing simplified cash flow management through the app. More than 390,000 businesses have downloaded the M-Pesa business app. Over 50% of business transactions on M-Pesa are made through the app.