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Safaricom’s interest-free M-Pesa credit service goes live


Safaricom has finally rolled out Faraja, the interest-free service targeting customers who purchase goods via Lipa Na M-pesa. 

Faraja will enable customers to make purchases of between KSh. 20 and KSh. 100,000 at zero interest fee and complete the payment within 30 days. The product has been rolled out in partnership with EDOMx, a Kenya-based financial technology firm

More than 32 million customers buy on credit from businesses on Lipa Na M-PESA. The two partners say customers can purchase multiple items simultaneously under Faraja as long as they are within their assigned credit limits.  

‘’Many businesses lose out on sales when a customer would like to make a purchase but lacks money at that point. We are glad to partner with EDOMx to offer Faraja empowering any business to grow their sales by enabling their customers to buy now and pay later,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom.

“In researching the global merchant and consumer industry, it was evident there is a substantial digital community that will appreciate our product offering including our zero interest initiative, plus much more in enhancing loyalty and customer focused programs.’’ said Julian Kyula, CEO, EDOMx. 

Customers can access the service at businesses which offer Faraja by dialling *799# to opt-in or make a payment, or by selecting the Faraja mini-app on the M-PESA Super App.

Businesses on Lipa Na M-PESA can opt into Faraja through the Faraja portal at farajacredit.com or by contacting EDOMx. Customers can use their service at any Lipa Na M-PESA outlet that offers Faraja. 

Currently, the service is available across all Naivas outlets, Goodlife pharmacies, City Walk amongst other merchants.  Businesses on Faraja will receive payment in full for a product or service immediately a customer makes a payment through the service. 

Safaricom says it will enable EDOMx to offer the Faraja service to more than 606,000 businesses on Lipa Na M-PESA at a negotiated facility fee payable by the business. EDOMx will then extend credit to businesses on the solution enabling them to receive payments immediately a customer makes a purchase on Faraja.

The product had previously faced regulatory hurdles with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) even going ahead to block its hours just before launch last year. CBK however cleared Safaricom and EDOMx to roll it out in June this year. This is after EDOMx was cleared as a digital credit provider in March under regulations published last year according to a report by Business Daily. The regulation allows the central bank to regulate fintechs in the country as it seeks to tame predatory lending and violation of consumer privacy. 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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