Telegram has a bot platform which allows developers to come up with interesting interactive bots that do several things like tell you the weather, fetch YouTube songs, play games and so much more. The possibilities on this platform are endless and it means that developers will come up useful bots that are legitimately useful to Telegram users out there.
Kenyan developers have embraced Telegram’s bot platform and have come up with several useful bots like the one for polling and the one Kenya Power has to query for bills. This next one is geared to help users (Safaricom users specifically) while they are transacting using MPESA.
If you have used MPESA before, the service has a lot of different charges like the charge for sending the money and the fee charged to withdraw the money and this requires someone to check how much it costs to send the money and for the third party to withdraw it.
Trevor Kimenye, CEO of Ongair who’s Enterprise Messaging Integrator we featured some two years ago decided to announce a bot they were working on that will help people calculate MPESA fees before you send money.
The bot is simple: Just ask it “How much is it to send xxx” as shown in the example and it will give you an answer showing how much you need to send and the sending charges. Interesting enough, I also asked it using the Kenyan slang language Sheng where I asked it to give me the charges for sending KES 1000 in Sheng and it was able to accurately display the information that I wanted.
These are the kind of tools that would work in a unique market like Kenya where the population uses MPESA and also use slang language that is idiosyncratic to the population.