Safaricom in now an adult! You might be thinking how? I understand. The giant telecommunications company just turned 18. If it was a human being, and a Kenyan in that matter, it could be already at Huduma Centre looking for a national identification card.
What makes Safaricom so unique? What has Safaricom been doing that makes it leave so much remarkable marks everywhere the company sets foot? The 18-year journey of Safaricom has not been that easy but the success stories that this giant has been through makes it stand tall.
One thing that makes Safaricom so unique is there corporate color. The color is so encrypted in the memory of most Kenyans that it is always easy to be identified. There corporate color is their signature and they have always led in that sector as others follow.
As Safaricom marks 18 years, here are the 10 products and services that everyone identifies with in one way or another:
Who doesn’t know about M-Pesa? Everyone uses M-Pesa for sending money, receiving cash and for paying of bills and products. And now that M-Pesa has gone global, means you can send and receive cash from anywhere around the world.
Typically, M-Shwari is a bank account issued by CBA that enables individuals to access loans of as low as 100 shillings and save money from as little as 1 shilling. Today, more than 10 million customers use the platform to borrow tens of thousands of shillings each day for various financial needs.
The service is the best for personal financial needs. The service, since its inception to July 2018, has disbursed 230 billion shillings in loans with an average of 3, 300 shillings per person. What is your story?
Airtime sambaza has made making calls highly convenient. Before one would run to the shop and buy airtime for a friend or family but with the service, through a USSD code, you can transfer airtime from your number to a specific contact.
The service allows both Pre-Pay and Post-Pay subscribers to share airtime of any amount between 5 and 10,000 shillings.
When one runs low on airtime, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is the Okoa Jahazi service. As a prepay customer, you can borrow airtime on credit and pay later. One can borrow from as low as 10 shillings and as high as 1000 shillings with a service fee of 10 percent.
Kenya is an internet country. Everyone seems to be on the internet nowadays. With the increase of Smartphone ownership and advancing technology, Safaricom has made internet penetration across the country swift and convenient. Both businesses, homeowners, and individuals can access the service. By dialing *544#, one is hit with several data options ranging from the daily, weekly, monthly, and 90-day bundles all for your convenience.
For any amount of airtime, you use above ten shillings, you get Bonga Points, which can be redeemed for a plethora or rewards. The rewards include Talk-time (Minutes), Data, SMS and MMS bundles to Merchandise.
Nothing is as sweet as browsing the internet without wasting time awaiting fast connections. This service falls under the data package but Safaricom was the first one to introduce it to the country. With 4G sim cards and LTE devices, one can now browse the internet at amazing speeds, up to 5 times the normal speed. This has made browsing and buffering for business an amazing experience.
Well, I may be past the age bracket now to enjoy this service but it was the best before I fell out of the age bracket. Launched in May 2016, BLAZE is a network aimed exclusively at addressing the needs of the youth segment. It features several exclusive benefits and services, including the opportunity to attend the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ (BYOB) mentorship summits, shop with BLAZE Bonga, customise their own personal service plans and buy more affordable bundles with the ‘Create Your Plan’ application, and the possibility of participating in the BYOB TV show. Safaricom BLAZE targets the youth aged between 10 and 26 years old.
Safaricom Home Fibre
When the cost of having internet in your home through other means became expensive, Safaricom came up with Safaricom Fibre that allows you to have fast, reliable and unlimited internet access from the comfort of your living room. The company provides you with a router and access to credentials that will enable you to have both Wireless and LAN access, with no installation charges.
Safaricom has three foundations; Safaricom Foundation, M-PESA and M-PESA Foundation Academy. All these foundations have uplifted the lives of many over the years. Millions of people have benefitted from several disaster response initiatives; close to a million Kenyans have received specialized health services through mobile medical camps, and more than 680,000 children are now learning in classrooms.
This is a product by Safaricom that is accessible through a customer’s mobile phone. It allows one to save or set aside some funds to cater to healthcare needs. Anybody who has signed up for the service can store funds in M-Tiba and use them to pay for services and medication at specific healthcare facilities where the M-TIBA logo exists. Moreover, one can transfer funds from an M-PESA account to your M-TIBA.
Safaricom Jazz Festivals
I am a fan of Jazz, and there was no way in the world I would have missed the recent concert that hosted Dianne Reeves, all thanks to Safaricom. The company hasn’t forgotten the entertainment industry, and it sure hasn’t forgotten those with the true taste of a classical tradition, like me.
Safaricom Lewa Marathons
Although I gave up along the way, Safaricom Lewa Marathon is one of the best experiences you will ever have. The pride that comes in knowing you are participating for something that has a huge impact is immeasurable.
The event is held to raise funds for conservation and community development projects across Kenya. Since its inception, the marathon has raised a total of 7 million US dollars. The event incorporates an unusual fundraising initiative with one of Kenya’s greatest sporting passions, running, something which has attracted enthusiasts from all over the country and the world in general.
Toa Sauti Initiative
It was launched by Safaricom in collaboration with the Media Owners Association to actively engage in road safety issues. With the increased cases of road accidents and uncontrolled deaths, the company saw it best to partner with the Association and come up The National Road Safety Trust, in August 2012. The initiative designed a framework for a national road safety program, which addresses awareness creation, education, emergency response, research, advocacy, and traffic policy reform. Who can say that the initiative has not averted some fatal and inappropriate driving accidents on the Kenyan roads?
This is My Kenya
From the beautiful mountains to the sunny beaches, the exceptional wildlife, and the Kenyan cuisines, Kenya is the best in the world! It may sound like something you can barely pay attention to, but Safaricom’s This is My Kenya has elevated the country’s economy, especially the tourism sector.
Open Your Eyes Kenya
Open Your Eyes Kenya aims at transforming and empowering the lives of more than 300,000 Kenyans who are visually impaired. It is an awareness initiative that can be accessed through the Open Your Eyes website, which apparently is inaccessible to sighted users to show the challenge of accessing Kenyan digital content by the blind in Kenya.
This is a Bonga Point service that allows customers to redeem Bonga Points and pay for goods and services from select Lipa Na M-PESA outlets. Those who have lots of points to spare can use the service to go shopping or even fill up their car tanks for amazing road trips.
Safaricom has held several campaigns and promotions aimed at rewarding its customers for their loyalty. Some of the promotions, such as the Lipa Na M-PESA promotion or the Maisha Ni M-PESA Tu promotion saw several individuals get apartments. Although not everyone won an apartment, it is worth noting that those who did really deserved the reward.