Safaricom loyalty program Bonga Points has been around for as long as I can remember. Customer get a point for every KES 10 they spend on the network. The points can then be redeemed for things such as voice, SMS and data.
The telco has however been trying to make the product more appealing by innovating around it. The innovation is also in the form of system that entices customers to use the points because we have had cases where customers held them for so long (with or without their knowledge), and that is of no economic use to the mobile operator.
Back in the day when the company’s ecommerce site Masoko was worth its salt, Safaricom allowed customers to make online payments using their Bonga points. This was all good until the site was downgraded to a phone seller, but more things were in the pipeline.
The ongoing pandemic has put people in challenging financial positions, so Safaricom saw it fit to allow customers to make payments at merchant points using Bonga Points. The announcement was promotional, and has since come to an end (June 4, 2020).
Over that period, the carrier says customers redeemed more than 1 billion points (two months).
More than 600000 customers redeemed an equivalent of KES 330 million at over 40K Lipa na M-PESA merchants.
Furthermore, Safaricom says most customers were redeeming their points for household items, solar-lighting solutions and entertainment.
In the same 2-month period, Kenyans donated their points as a show of goodwill, with over KES 150 million being redeemed from points transferred from one person to another.
“I commend Kenyans for standing with each other during this time of need. Even as Bonga for Good comes to an end, we are cognizant that a lot of Kenyans still need to access essential goods and services, that is why redemption of points at Lipa Na M-PESA merchants will remain a permanent feature of our loyalty scheme,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
The carrier says customers can still continue redeeming their points at merchant shops at KES 20 cents per point. Safaricom has not stated when this initiative will come to an end fully.