As at March 2020, the value of unclaimed Safaricom customer loyalty awards, popularly known as Bonga points, hit Sh3.94 billion. This would offer a rich pool for customers to redeem for food and household items. This amount is a rise from the previous year’s Sh3.85 billion.
Bonga Points is a loyalty scheme introduced in January 2007 for all Safaricom Prepay and PostPay subscribers. Once registered to the Programme, you start earning points immediately.
According to Safaricom, you earn one Bonga Point for every KSHs.10 spent on voice calls, SMS, or data. The more you use your Safaricom line, the more points you get and the bigger the rewards.
About one billion points valued at Sh301 million were redeemed in two months through the Bonga for Good initiative.
The initiative, in which one point converts to 30 cents, was launched on April 3 to help customers purchase goods and services in the wake of the economic disruption brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and local measures to slow down its spread in Kenya.
More about the Bonga Points
Safaricom has been pushing for points redemption since they are accounted for as a liability or deferred income. Bonga points can only be recognised as revenue in the telco’s books once customers utilise them.
When the points build-up, they tie up revenue for the telco until redeemed. This runs for both individual subscribers as well as enterprise business customers.
Enterprise business customers also earn loyalty points when they achieve their revenue targets and redeem the points after revenue contracts with Safaricom.
The telco uses the same concept to recognise airtime revenue. Prepaid airtime sold to customers is held as deferred revenue until the customer uses it. Unused airtime and data bundles by prepaid customers was at Sh2.5 billion at the end of March, being the same as in the previous year.
Safaricom had 35.61 million customers by the end of March. Net profit grew by 17.9 per cent to Sh73.66 billion in the year under review. Safaricom also recently acquired a 50 percent stake in mobile money platform M-Pesa.