Kenyans acquired 50,000 smartphones through Safaricom’s Lipa Mdogo Mdogo program between July and September this year. The program allows customers to pay as little as Sh20 for the devices daily.
On average, Safaricom disbursed about 769 mobile phones on a daily basis, drawing it closer to its quest of driving up its data revenue. The giant mobile operator hopes to convert at least 4 million 2G and 3G enabled devices to 4G.
“We are excited about the results we are seeing. We had said we were going to use the first quarter to test customer behaviour in terms of uptake and repayment,” said Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom chief customer officer.
“We have about 50,000 customers who have already taken it up. We want to scale up (uptake) by using our dealer network.”
Safaricom partnered with Google to launch the Lipa Mdogo Mdogo program in July this year with the aim of empowering its subscribers by giving them access to 4G enabled smartphones. The program will give customers a chance to enjoy high internet speeds using 4G.
The program is available for customers who have been with Safaricom for at least one year and have not been blacklisted by the CRB.
Safaricom offers various plans for daily, weekly and monthly payment with three reminders via text on a daily basis.
Google created a product that allows Safaricom to lock the device following four days of non-payment for daily plans. Weekly defaulters get their calls and text messages locked.
Although Safaricom did not disclose how many people have defaulted, Ms. Mulinge said the program is performing very well.
“The non-performing loans have been very good and very much performing within the business case we had set,” said Ms Mulinge.
At least 50 percent of Safaricom’s 38 million customers are still on the 2G network.