Safaricom, in an effort to minimize liabilities, has introduced a new payment service (‘Lipa na Data’) that enables its vast customer base to utilize their Internet data balances for purchasing goods and services.
This innovative service empowers users with 5GB or more of data balance to make payments at various shopping outlets by dialing*544*34# and selecting either Paybill or till numbers.
Prepaid Safaricom subscribers with ‘no expiration’ bundles that exceed 5GB and postpaid customers with a data balance of more than 5GB have access to this feature.
The telco aims to enhance the utilization of its loyalty program, widely known as Bonga Points, to unlock substantial revenue worth billions of shillings.
The system determines the bill in Kenyan shillings based on the corresponding data bundle after the payment request code is entered and asks the user whether they wish to proceed with the payment.
For example, a payment of Sh500 is equivalent to 7,692.21MBs (7.7GB), whereas a payment of Sh2,000 equates to 30,769.23MBs (30.8GB).
The prompt message reads, “You can make a payment of Sh500 with 7,692.21MBs. Proceed to pay: 1: Yes 2: No 0: Back.” In case the data balance falls below the required 5GB, the user will receive a notification indicating their ineligibility for the service.
This new service will supplement the variety of payment options already offered to consumers of Safaricom’s M-Pesa e-wallet. These options include the ability to make direct payments from customer deposits and the Fuliza overdraft service for customers who do not have the cash to pay for their purchases.
In addition, Safaricom provides the ‘Lipa na Bonga’ service, through which customers may use their accumulated loyalty points to pay for goods and services.