Safaricom customers set to make payments with Internet bundles


Safaricom PLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Ndegwa at a past event. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Safaricom has unveiled a new payment option allowing its millions of customers to pay for goods and services using their Internet data balances as it moves to reduce related liabilities.

Dubbed ‘Lipa na Data’, the service allows users with 5GB and above of data balance to make payments at shopping outlets via Paybill or till numbers by dialling *544*34#.

The provision is accessible to both Safaricom post-pay customers with a data balance of 5GB and above as well as to prepaid customers with ‘no expiry’ bundles above 5GB.

It comes on the back of another campaign to increase redemption of its loyalty programme, popularly known as Bonga Points, and unlock the underlying revenue running into billions of shillings.

On dialling the payment request code, the bundle calculator gives the bill in Kenya shillings in its data bundle equivalent and prompts the user to either agree or decline to proceed with payment.

For example, Sh500 is equivalent to 7,692.21MBS (7.7GB), while Sh2,000 is equivalent to 30,769.23MBs (30.8GB).

“You can make a payment of Sh500 with 7,692.21MBs. Proceed to pay: 1: Yes 2: No 0: Back,” reads the prompt on making a payment attempt.

If the data balance is below the required 5GB, a user will be notified that they are not eligible for the service.

The launch of the service comes as an add-on to a raft of other existing payment plans offered by the telco’s M-Pesa e-wallet, which include direct payments from the user’s deposits and the Fuliza overdraft service used by customers who do not have sufficient deposits to match their purchasing bills.

Safaricom also runs the ‘Lipa na Bonga’ service that allows users to redeem their loyalty points and use them to clear cash bills.

The giant telco has recently embarked on an aggressive revenue optimisation drive. Among the most notable moves are expanding the fifth generation (5G) network coverage to Kenya’s 21 counties in April and introducing the Fuliza overdraft service for businesses last month.

The telco posted its third consecutive full-year profit fall to stand at Sh52.5 billion for the year ended March 2023, a trend attributable to continued heavy capital investments in the Ethiopian venture.

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