Safaricom clients redeem 1 billion loyalty points

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 00:00 |
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa.

Lewis Njoka @LewisNjoka

Safaricom customers redeemed 1 billion loyalty points (bonga points) equivalent to Sh330 million in the last two months, the company has announced.

This revelation rekindles an old debate about what should happen to loyalty points once a customer dies or the company ceases to exist. 

“I commend Kenyans for standing with each other during this time of need. Even as Bonga for Good comes to an end, we are cognisant that a lot of Kenyans still need to access essential goods and services, that is why redemption of points at Lipa Na M-PESA merchants will remain a permanent feature of our loyalty scheme,” said Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Peter Ndegwa. 

Through the Bonga for Good initiative which ended on June 4, over 60,000 Kenyans either donated or redeemed points in exchange for mostly food,household items, solar-lighting solutions and entertainment.

During the initiative, over Sh150 million worth of redeemed points was transferred from one person to another, an exercise aided by over 40,000 Lipa na M-Pesa merchants. 

Following the conclusion of the Bonga for Good initiative, Safaricom customers will continue redeeming their loyalty points normally at 20 cents a point.

Late last year, loyalty points emerged a contentious issue during the liquidation of the collapsed giant retailer, Nakumatt, after it emerged that its loyal customers would lose Sh1.8 billion in unclaimed points.

Money owed

In an unusual move, the retailer had in its books classified the loyalty points as assets instead of liabilities despite the fact that it was money owed to customers.

 “How would you declare property that is not yours as an asset? That’s an obvious case of fraud.

Loyalty points belong to the customers and not the company,” said Consumer Federation Secretary General, Stephen Mutoro, at the time.

Joseph Kimathi, a senior accountant at Chuka University concurred that loyalty points should not be classified as company assets since they belong to customers.

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