Safaricom offers 4G device in daily payment deal
Chief Customer Officer, Safaricom
INTERVIEW: Operators play a central role in helping consumers gain access to affordable devices, Safaricom chief customer officer Sylvia Mulinge highlighted, as she detailed its daily device payment option designed to expand access to 4G services.
Pointing to the operator’s efforts to increase accessibility in Kenya to digitally excluded consumers, Mulinge added once interest had been created around internet access by creating the “right use cases” to help digital literacy, the question was how to get devices in the hands of consumers.
One of the African operator’s recent initiatives in this area has been a smartphone financing plan in partnership with Google, named Lipa Mdogo Mdogo. The scheme provides customers with handsets for a small daily payment able to be processed through its m-Pesa mobile money platform.
Discussing the rationale behind the move, Mulinge said: “Once you have the [4G] network you need to work out how people access the network and with the price of smartphones being a barrier, we asked ourselves what we can do to increase that access.
“The majority of Kenyans are using 2G phones and if we look at how they earn their income, it’s on a daily basis,” she added. The scheme was designed to fit with earning patterns of the people it targeted and was part of its aim to ensure nobody is left digitally excluded.
Mulinge added it was essential to “ensure everyone is benefiting from the data advantage,” given the impact of accessibility for many industries at the centre of the Kenyan economy.