Safaricom knows how to set the rules in the Kenyan Ecosystem, hitting its tentacles to each and every category ranging from Money, Music, e-commerce and now Social. They deserve an Applaud .. or let’s say when you are a giant it’s never so strenuous to hype your product or push it. Although what I’m not so sure of the progress of the recently launched systems, what I know is that: M-PESA will always be a major hit and we all know that.

Earlier some time we wrote this article about Safaricom, and Safaricom is now proving that it is in the Tech-Social-business for real. I can guess we are now about to start receiving the we’ve updated our policy email like most of the other social innovations have been doing after the Facebook, Cambridge Analytica scandal .  Anyway, enough of the praise and let’s dig it the proper way. Safaricom is out here commercialising everything, not so long ago, a partnership between Safaricom and PayPal went down to help the transfer of money without the struggle: this has seen Equity Bank Kenya Limited (a financial services provider headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya) which was seen as the major player in the interoperability between M-Pesa & PayPal, lower its rates.

Safaricom is now to release the Bonga platform, as according to the website: it’s a deep messaging platform integration to M-Pesa.   “Bonga™ enables you to chat with friends, send, receive and also request for money, all within one screen!” Quoting the Bonga Caption.  Bonga is an outgrowth of the Safaricom’s Alpha innovation incubator.

Quoting TC:

“Bonga is a conversational and transactional social network,” Shikoh Gitau said  “It’s focused on pay, play, and purpose as the three main things our research found people do on our payment and mobile network,” she added  Gitau offered examples: pay could be using M-Pesa and SMS to coordinate anything from tuition payments to e-commerce, play spans online sports betting to gaming, and purpose includes SMS or WhatsApp chat groups that raise money for weddings, holidays, or Kenya’s informal investment groups.

As a telco, Safaricom­— still has 69 percent of the Kenya’s mobile subscribers. Its M-Pesa fintech app―which generated $525 million of the company’s $2 billion annual revenues―boasts 27 million customers across a network of 136,000 agents.

This week, Safaricom is expected to offer Bonga to a test group of 600 users, before updating the product from beta allowing the initial group to refer it to friends, and then extending the platform in three phases. Bonga Sasa will facilitate messaging and money transfer between individuals, “enabling users to send or receive money while conversing with each other,” according to a Safaricom release. For example, through Bonga Sasa, a parent can send money to the child without having to leave the platform to access another money transfer tool.

Bonga Baraza, expected in mid-2018, will allow users to collect money for purpose-driven events, including Kenya’s Harambee collective fundraising drives.

The App is already causing Traction and Comments According to Techweez Forum.

Strictly for now maybe suited for Kenya, this will really come in handy to ease communication as we have seen of  WhatsApp and WeChat integrate mobile payments into their platforms in a bid to make it easier for their users to transact.

One thing we know, is that this might be a hit but will the market appreciate and use it to its maximum potential ? Let’s wait for the data

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