Telecommunications giant Safaricom has just announced moving forward customers who default on their Okoa Jahazi will have their Bonga points deducted automatically to repay the debt.
Okoa Jahazi is a service that lets Safaricom users borrow airtime for calls or sms as well as data bundles from the company once their airtime is depleted and they are in no position to top it up.
Upon requesting for the "pick me up" soft loan and receiving it one is required to repay the amount within 5 days.
Mind you, the company charges an advance fee of 10% for each request. So if you borrow 20 bob airtime you'll receive Sh.18.50 but will be required to still repay it as Sh. 20
Safaricom also has another service, the Auto Okoa Service which automatically enables eligible prepay subscribers to opt to receive an Okoa Jahazi credit facility every time their airtime is below KSh 5.
However, the company notes that some people are notorious for exceeding their stipulated repay period thus the new move. So if you think you're sleek by not topping up your airtime and switching to another line so as to avoid repaying, Safaricom will just slash the amount from your Bonga points balance.
They also note that the move is as well in a bid to reduce the value of Bonga points, yet to be redeemed by customers which are currently worth billions of shillings.
"The balance of the Auto Okoa Jahazi debt must be fully repaid within five days from the date of issue failing which you will be blacklisted for 24hrs," the telecommunications company stated.
Bonga points are earned as a result of airtime top-ups by subscribers as well as M-Pesa transactions.
Subscribers usually earn one Bonga point for every Sh10 spent on the Safaricom network on voice, mobile data and SMS, and for every Sh100
The Bonga points are earned as a result of airtime top-ups by subscribers.
Subscribers usually earn one Bonga point for every Sh10 spent on the Safaricom network on voice, mobile data and SMS, and for every Sh100 spent on the network for M-Pesa transactions.
Bonga points can be converted to free airtime, free internet, and paying bills.
In November 2022, Safaricom announced all Bonga Points older than three years will expire and will be unavailable for redemption from January 1, 2023.
All subscribers who fell in the category were advised to hasten their Bonga points redemption to avoid incurring losses upon the set date for expiry.
"We have noticed that they are usually dormant hence becoming a liability to us if unclaimed,” Safaricom said.
The move was aimed at unlocking the underlying revenue amounting to Sh4.5 billion as of March 2022.
Safaricom's unredeemed Bonga Points revenue hit KSh 4.5 billion as of March 2022, up from KSh 3 billion recorded in 2015.