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Ndegwa: Safaricom to erase 4 million customers off the CRB, provide them with access to new loans

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By Judith Gicobi

According to Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa, the telecommunications firm wants to have four million clients off the Credit Reference Bureau’s (CRB) blacklist by the end of next month.

Ndegwa stated that Safaricom is now in contact with KCB Bank and NCBA to assist the move, which intends to increase revenue collection by extending the consumer margin, in a statement to a local media outlet on Tuesday.

“Today we have reduced Fuliza costs by 50 per cent on average. We are also working with NCBA and KCB as our banking partners, and they are going to be repairing four million customers that were previously listed on the CRB,” Ndegwa stated.

“We will be taking them off the listing in the CRB so that they are able to access new loans; it will be 4 million additional new customers who will be free to access Fuliza and other lending products out there…the repair will happen from November.”

The Safaricom CEO stated that removing the consumers from the credit listing will enable them to re-borrow, boosting the usage of Fuliza and other money lending services, albeit acknowledging that the action may cause losses.

This will eventually result in a rise in direct consumer traffic, he said, which will allow for the eventual recovery of the lost income.

“Yes, Safaricom and banks will lose a lot of money, and a reduction in the revenue that we earn. Since we reduced the cost, we have seen an increase in numbers using Fuliza, more frequency of customers using Fuliza and higher amounts using Fuliza,” he stated.

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Ndegwa emphasized that the company concentrated on the long-term objective of growing the clientele, which would result in more subscriptions to the product and more revenue, when asked why the Fuliza costs were reduced.

The firm intended to meet the requirements of the general public by fulfilling its role as an emergency creditor because client expectations asked for lower and more reasonable interest rates on loans.

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