[Kenya] Safaricom tests Bonga social media platform for M-Pesa users
Kenyan operator Safaricom is piloting a social messaging app that will link to its mobile money platform in an attempt to move the company into the application business, reports Business Daily. Bonga, which means "chat" in Kiswahili, will be integrated with M-Pesa to allow its almost 28 million users to communicate beyond sending money to one another. Bonga is the first product launched by the company’s innovation incubator Alpha.
The messaging service was partially launched on 26 April in closed beta testing for selected users on Android devices. The app will allow users to review their balance on M-Pesa, besides letting them transact money without leaving the platform. The service was first conceived of in August 2017.
The release of Bonga also positions Safaricom as a social networking site, allowing its subscribers to not only send direct messages on a singular free platform but it will also help them conduct business meetings and enhance their commercial dealings.
Users will have access to a special M-Pesa button that will allow them to send and request money. The introduction of Bonga is part of the company’s strategy to boost revenue and add value beyond its services of voice calls, mobile money and text messages.