Safaricom’s mySafaricom app was launched almost 4 years ago and it has truly earned its place on my home screen. I use it to access Safaricom’s services that range from purchasing data plans to using MPESA in an app interface.
A lot has changed in the last four years. Android 7.0 Nougat was the latest Android OS at that time. Over time, it has seen some updates like the addition of MPESA, Fuliza and the new data plans but Safaricom saw the need for a change.
The company is now testing a new version of the mySafaricom app which you can access on the PlayStore. It is labeled as “Early Access” which means you have to expect bugs while using the app.
The first thing you notice is the insistence on having a Safaricom line to activate the app just like the current app. It recognizes your Safaricom number instantly and when you accept the terms and conditions, you are logged into the app. It kept crashing at this moment but I was finally logged in after 3 tries.
The changes are quite drastic. Safaricom has purged a lot of user interface elements and features that the old mySafaricom app used to have for a simpler interface. They have moved to a tabbed interface from the old button interface. They ditched the old design which included colourful icons and a hamburger menu that contained a lot of extra features.
We have 5 hubs: Home, MPESA, Safaricom logo, Discover and Feedback
Home tab displays information about your Safaricom account. You can view your balances (airtime, data, SMS, Bonga points and voice and top up airtime. You can also use the most used MPESA functions like send money and Lipa na MPESA. This is also the section where you can pay for your Home Fibre account.
MPESA tab has all the various MPESA features that you are used to by now on the old mySafaricom app. The only difference is that we have new icons.
Edit favourites tab literally has nothing. They are probably still working on this where you will be able to add 5 functions that you can easily access from this tab.
Discover tab is a new feature for the mySafaricom app where it seems you’d be able to view products that Safaricom offers. It is still not clear what they are planning for this tab.
Feedback tab is a new section where you can submit your opinion from using the app.
Some features do not work since this is still on the testing phase.
What has Safaricom purged from the old app?
Well, Safaricom has made the new app more focused than before. The old app tried to be everything and this revamp is welcome.
First, they ditched the hamburger menu for a tabbed interface. I bet they did this because most people won’t care to access some of the features that were included there. The hamburger menu was geared to be a quick way to access some features.
Under this hamburger menu, a number of features were not ported over. This includes:
- Store locator
- Join Blaze
- Change service PIN
- Secure with PIN
- Tell a friend
- My profile
Safaricom also removed the notification bell which you could see from the top right-hand corner on the old app. That bell displayed notifications and reminders that you have.