Complete Guide to M-PESA Fuliza Fees and Limits For 2024

Discover everything you need about M-PESA Fuliza fees and limits in 2024. Our detailed guide covers eligibility, fee structure, loan limits, and smart usage tips to help you maximize your financial flexibility with M-PESA's innovative overdraft service. Stay informed and manage your money more effectively.

Nov 27, 2023 - 00:45
Nov 27, 2023 - 11:45
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Complete Guide to M-PESA Fuliza Fees and Limits For 2024
Complete Guide to M-PESA Fuliza Fees and Limits For 2024

In Kenya today, financial flexibility is more crucial than ever, especially in the dynamic landscape of mobile banking. M-PESA is at the forefront of this revolution, a household name synonymous with convenient and innovative financial solutions. Among its services, Fuliza, an overdraft facility offered by Safaricom, has emerged as a pivotal feature for M-PESA users. Fuliza acts as a financial safety net, empowering customers to complete transactions even when their M-PESA balance falls short.

As we navigate through 2024, understanding the nuances of Fuliza becomes paramount for anyone leveraging M-PESA for their daily transactions. This is about more than just knowing how to use the service; it is about grasping the Fuliza fees and limits that come with it. Why is this important? Like any financial service, the cost and boundaries of Fuliza can significantly impact your wallet and financial planning. Whether you're a small business owner in Nairobi, a farmer in the Rift Valley, or a student in Mombasa, these fees and limits directly affect how you manage your cash flow.

But why focus on Fuliza now? The landscape of mobile banking and financial services is constantly evolving, and with each change, new fees, limits, and opportunities arise. By delving into the specifics of Fuliza fees and limits in 2024, we ensure that you're not only staying ahead of the curve but also using Fuliza as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible. This guide is tailored to give you a comprehensive understanding of Fuliza – from its eligibility criteria and how to opt into a detailed breakdown of its fee structure, loan limits, and responsible usage tips.

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Understanding Fuliza and Its Eligibility

What is Fuliza?

Fuliza is not just another service; it's a game-changer in mobile banking. Operated by Safaricom, one of the giants in Kenya's telecommunication sector, Fuliza is an innovative overdraft facility. This service seamlessly integrates with M-PESA, Safaricom's renowned mobile money platform, allowing customers to complete transactions even when they lack sufficient funds in their M-PESA account. Think of it as a financial cushion that catches you when your balance isn't enough​​​.

But how does it work? Simple! Once you opt into Fuliza, you can continue your M-PESA transactions as usual. If your account balance is low, Fuliza steps in, covering the shortfall up to a specific limit. This means you can keep making payments, buying airtime, or transferring money without a hitch. The service is continuous, providing ongoing support whenever your account dips below zero as long as it's within your assigned limit.

Eligibility Criteria for Fuliza

Now, who gets to enjoy this convenient service? To tap into Fuliza, you must first be an M-PESA registered user. However, only some people with an M-PESA account can access Fuliza. There are specific eligibility criteria. To activate Fuliza, you must be registered using a valid Kenyan ID, military ID, or passport. However, it's crucial to note that not all registrants are immediately eligible for a loan limit upon activation. For instance, those registered with a foreign passport cannot opt into Fuliza. Safaricom assigns you a limit upon successful activation, which dictates the maximum overdraft you can access​​​.

How to Opt Into Fuliza

If you want to start using Fuliza, here's how you can opt-in. First, dial *334# on your Safaricom mobile phone. This brings up a menu with various options. Navigate to 'Loans and Savings,' then select 'FULIZA.' Follow the prompts to opt into the service. Alternatively, you can opt in through the M-PESA App, which offers a more streamlined and user-friendly experience. Once you've opted in, you're set to start using Fuliza and enjoy its financial flexibility​​​.

Fuliza fees

Fuliza Charges Overview

Navigating the cost of using Fuliza is essential for any M-PESA user. Let's break down the fee structure to understand your pay. The charges for using Fuliza are twofold: a one-time access fee and a daily maintenance fee. Each time you use Fuliza, you're charged a 1% access fee on the amount borrowed. This fee is applied immediately. But that's not all. A daily maintenance fee kicks in at midnight (00:00 hrs) following the day you borrow. This fee is based on the outstanding balance and is charged daily until you repay the borrowed amount. A 20% excise duty is applied to the access fee, which adds a little extra to the cost​​​.

Detailed Fee Structure

Understanding the specifics of these fees is crucial. The payments vary depending on the amount borrowed. For instance, if you borrow between KES 101 and KES 500, you will incur a fee of KES 3 plus a 20% excise duty, making a total charge of KES 3.6. As the borrowed amount increases, so does the fee, with the highest bracket (KES 2501 to KES 70000) attracting a price of KES 25 plus a 20% excise duty, totalling KES 30. These fees are designed to be proportional to the borrowed amount, ensuring affordability and fairness for all users​.

Additionally, there's an essential aspect of the maintenance fee to consider. The daily maintenance fee varies based on the borrowed amount as well. For instance, lending between KES 1 and KES 100 incurs no daily maintenance fee, while borrowing KES 2501 to KES 70,000 incurs a daily fee of KES 25. Remember, this fee accumulates daily until the borrowed amount is repaid, so keeping track of your Fuliza usage is essential to avoid racking up high fees​.

Fuliza fees range depending on the amount borrowed. The table below outlines the breakdown:

Amount Band Tariff 20% Excise Duty Total Charges
0 -100 KSh. 0 KSh 0 KSh 0
101-500 KSh 2.5 KSh 0.5 KSh 3
501-1000 KSh 5 KSh 1 KSh 6
1001-1500 KSh 18 KSh 3.6 KSh 21.6
1501-2500 KSh 20 KSh 4 KSh 24
2501-70000 KSh 25 KSh 5 KSh 30

Withdrawal Charges and Limits

A recent update has made Fuliza even more versatile. Users can now withdraw cash from their Fuliza limit. For example, if you have a Fuliza limit of KES 500, you can withdraw up to KES 470 with a transaction fee of KES 27. This feature enhances the flexibility and utility of Fuliza, making it more than just a digital overdraft but also a cash resource in times of need. However, it's important to note that the Fuliza limit is dynamic and will be adjusted based on usage and timely repayment. Your limit can increase or decrease depending on how you use and repay the facility​.

Loan Limits and Repayment

Fuliza Loan Limits

Understanding your Fuliza loan limit is vital to maximizing this service's benefits. The maximum loan limit with Fuliza is KES 70,000, a threshold that provides a considerable buffer for M-PESA transactions. This limit is not static; it evolves based on your M-PESA and Fuliza usage patterns. Regular and responsible usage of M-PESA services and timely Fuliza repayments can increase your loan limit. This is Safaricom's way of rewarding reliable users – the more you use and repay on time, the higher your limit may go​​​.

It's also worth noting that not all users start with the same limit. The initial limit is assigned based on several factors, including your activity on the Safaricom network. Customers who have been active for at least six months and demonstrate consistent M-PESA usage are more likely to receive a higher initial limit. Conversely, those with less than six months of activity on the network may start with a zero limit​.

Checking and Increasing Your Fuliza Limit

How do you check your current Fuliza limit? It's pretty simple. By dialling *234# and selecting 'Fuliza M-PESA,' you can access the option to 'check your limit.' You'll then receive an SMS detailing your available Fuliza limit. This is a handy feature, allowing you to stay informed about your current overdraft capacity​.

As for increasing your Fuliza limit, it boils down to how you use both M-PESA and Fuliza. Regularly using M-PESA services and prompt repayment of your Fuliza overdrafts are crucial. Each timely repayment is a positive mark on your Safaricom profile, gradually enhancing your creditworthiness in the eyes of the service provider. This responsible usage is the quickest path to a higher Fuliza limit. It's also important to remember that your Fuliza limit is subject to review and can change (either increase or decrease) based on your usage patterns and repayment behaviour​​.

Responsible Usage and Additional Information

Responsible Use of Fuliza

Using Fuliza responsibly is crucial for maintaining financial health. While it offers a convenient way to manage short-term cash flow gaps, it should not be viewed as a long-term solution for economic challenges. Treating Fuliza as a safety net, not a primary source of funds, is essential. Remember, the service incurs fees, and over-reliance can lead to a cycle of debt, especially if you consistently max out your limit and need help to repay on time. Constantly evaluate your need for using Fuliza, considering whether a transaction is essential and if there are other ways to meet this need without incurring additional debt​.

Avoiding Transaction Charges

A savvy M-PESA user also looks for ways to minimize transaction charges. Some merchants and businesses cover M-PESA transaction fees to encourage the platform's use, which can be a cost-saving opportunity. Additionally, Safaricom occasionally offers promotions allowing users to send or receive money for free or at discounted rates. Keeping an eye on these promotions and taking advantage of them can lead to significant savings. Furthermore, having a higher balance in your M-PESA account may qualify you for discounted transaction fees. It pays to stay informed about these opportunities​.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, M-PESA's Fuliza is invaluable in the modern financial toolkit, especially for M-PESA users in Kenya. It provides a crucial buffer, allowing continuous transactions despite low funds. However, as with any financial service, it comes with responsibilities. Understanding and keeping track of the fees, limits, and eligibility criteria are fundamental to using Fuliza wisely and efficiently. By using Fuliza responsibly and staying informed about minimizing costs, you can make the most of this innovative service without falling into a debt trap. Remember, financial tools are there to help you manage your money better, but they require prudent and informed use to be truly beneficial. So, make the most of Fuliza, but always keep a keen eye on your financial health and goals.

Joseph Richard Joseph Richard, a leading contributor to sledge.co.ke, uses his decade-long expertise in finance, business, and technology to offer clear, reliable guides and analyses. His work aids Kenyans in making informed financial and business decisions, earning him a reputation as a trusted industry authority.