By Kimani Chege
Safaricom has unveiled its much anticipated social communication app, Bonga which comes with an integrated Mpesa feature that allows users to request and send money. This is a feature that has been integrated by other players like WeChat.
The innovation arm of Safaricom, Alpha has been running tests on the app and it has been finally added to Google playstore. However, during the beta testing phase,everyone will be able to download Bonga but only the whitelisted people will be able to log in.
“Bonga is our new messaging platform which allows easier convenience for payments. Bonga enables you to chat with friends, send, receive and also request for money, all within one screen,” Aplha notes.
The App uses money limits as set by Mpesa. Users can transact between Ksh. 1 and Ksh. 70,000 per transaction. Safaricom has been working on innovations that would help the telecom wade through the competitive money transfer sector, globally.
In a memorandum of understanding deal that was announced last week, Finserve and Singapore-based online payment company Red Dot Payment will collaborate to ensure business people travelling to China and those trading with Kenya can transact using these platforms.
Under the agreement, Equity mobile payment platform Equitel will offer the base for both WeChat and Alipay. While MPesa charges a little fee for sending and withdrawal of funds, WeChat app is free to install and money transfer is free.
Kamal Bhattacharya was appointed Safaricom’s Chief Innovation Officer with clear mandate of developing business solutions beyond the globally acclaimed Mpesa. He heads the Apha segment of Safaricom.