500,000 take Safaricom Sh20 per day phone


Lipa Mdogo Mdogo by Safaricom. PHOTO | POOL

About 500,000 Safaricom #ticker:SCOM customers have taken up smartphones on credit that require daily repayments of as little as Sh20, boosting the telco’s quest to ramp up data revenues.

The telco in July last year launched the device financing plan dubbed ‘Lipa Mdogo Mdogo’ to give customers still using feature phones an opportunity to own a 4G-enabled phone.

It targeted to offer one million affordable smartphones in partnership with Google in the race to grow its data business to offset a decline in mobile calls, where it has seen a small revenue fall due to saturation.

“Lipa Mdogo Mdogo has seen over 500,000 Kenyans upgrade from 2G devices to quality and affordable 4G smartphones,” said Safaricom chief executive Peter Ndegwa yesterday.

“Through this partnership, we seek to meet the varying needs of our customers by increasing the selection of devices available under the world-first device-financing plan.”

Safaricom has expanded its partnership for the device financing plan implemented jointly with Google to include Transsion, the company behind phone brands TECNO, Infinix and itel.

The daily repayments increase if subscribers go for high-value smartphones as Safaricom seeks to eventually convert about 4 million 2G and 3G-enabled phones to 4G.

Under the latest Transion backed plan, the firm’s Smartphones are available at all Safaricom Shops and dealer outlets with a deposit of Sh500, Sh3,000, and Sh5,000 respectively, with the balance payable via flexible daily, weekly, or monthly installments.

“We want Kenyans to have internet accessibility through quality devices that meet their evolving needs and expectations,” said Transsion Kenya country manager Ray Fang.

Safaricom is aiming to rev up its data business to offset sluggish growth in mobile calls, where it has seen a small revenue growth due to saturation, forcing the firm to turn to M-Pesa and the internet to power future growth.

Safaricom relies on data analytics to create personalised credit scoring for its customers, helping it to decide who qualifies for the phone financing.

Data is one of Safaricom’s fastest-growing revenue lines and it hopes that increased smartphone usage will boost it further.

Safaricom has experienced an increase in data traffic as people work from home and students turn to e-learning services.

The telco said earlier it will launch Kenya’s first fifth-generation (5G) mobile internet services targeting major urban centres, making it the inaugural operator to offer commercial and superfast services in the region.

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