Kenyans took out a total of Ksh.351.2 billion loans from Safaricom’s overdraft service Fuliza or about Ksh.962 million daily over the last one year to March 2021.
In contrast, Kenyans only borrowed an equivalent Ksh.670 million a day from the platform in the previous year or a total of Ksh.244.6 billion.
The growth in loans from the service coincided with the entry of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country at the end of March last year implying an increased reliance on credit by Kenyans.
The average size of loans drawn from the service however fell to Ksh.446.20 from a higher Ksh.622.70 last year.
The average number of daily users on Fuliza was however on the increase rising to 1.4 million from 700,000 persons.
During the year Safaricom earned Ksh.4.5 billion from the platform from a lower Ksh.2.8 billion a year earlier.
Curiously, Safaricom’s peer lending and savings platforms KCB M-Pesa and M-Shwari marked a slump in both loans disbursed and active users.
KCB-M-Pesa for instance marked a 56.2 per cent dip in loans disbursed to Ksh.51.1 billion from Ksh.116.6 billion while its one month active users fell by 32 per cent to 3.3 million persons.
One month actove customers on the M-Shwari platform meanwhile fell to 4 million persons while its size of disbursed loans fell by 27 per cent to Ksh.94.5 billion.
Fuliza is now disbursing more than twice the size loans than M-Shwari and KCB-M-Pesa combined.
The trio alongside M-Kesho and M-Kopa contributed to Ksh.8.1 billion in revenues to Safaricom down from Ksh.6.2 billion last year.
Despite the high volumes of loans taken from Fuliza, 98.4 per cent of loans disbursed were repaid representing a mere default rate of just 1.6 per cent or Ksh.1.60 for every Ksh.100 taken.