One million. That’s the number of times mySafaricom App has been downloaded from Google Play Store. The number of subscribers who have downloaded the App could be way less, as individual subscribers, myself included, download as they uninstall apps multiple times. For the purposes of this article let us go with One million subscribers. This again is due to the fact that Google’s rounding off system is just too bad. Next time Google will update the number of downloads for mySafaricom App from one million will be when it will be logical to round off the number of downloads to 5 million.
One million downloads is probably the highest number you’ll see on a local app – but when that app is by Safaricom you should expect much higher download numbers, especially if that app is as useful as mySafaricom App. This is because Safaricom has slightly over 29 million subscribers, with some 15 million of them enjoying Safaricom services through smartphones. Most of these smartphones that can as many as 10 million, are smartphones that can allow seamless utilization of mySafaricom App hence Safaricom subscribers with these smartphones ought to have downloaded the App by now. But no, three to four years after mySafaricom App debuted on Play Store, only 10% of Safaricom subscribers with decent smartphones have cared to download the App.
The blame for the poor download performance lies entirely on Safaricom. This is because either Safaricom has not sufficiently and efficiently promoted mySafaricom App, has failed to clearly demonstrate the benefits of using the App, or has failed to do both.
In the last few months Safaricom has tried to encourage subscribers to use mySafaricom App through text messages, letting the subscribers know of the free data bundles they are likely to be awarded if they use the app more frequently. However, the promotion doesn’t seem to be working as fast as one would expect, as the number of downloads for mySafaricom App has stuck at one million for several months.
What Safaricom subscribers should be told are the immediate functional benefits of using mySafaricom App. Benefits such as the ease with which a subscriber can use MPESA and the other services should be made clear. I remember not long ago I was traveling with this lady from Nairobi to Nakuru. At some point she received a call asking her to send an emergency MPESA to her househelp. To do the transaction, the lady asked me to type on my screen the househelp’s phone number so that she could retype it on MPESA. I asked her why she hadn’t downloaded mySafaricom App. “What is that?” she asked. After I helped her download the App, she couldn’t believe how easy it is to access and enjoy Safaricom services through the App.
The experience I had with the lady was the pointer to the fact that there are many Safaricom subscribers out there who ought to be told the benefits of using mySafaricom App – not for the once in a while free data services that Safaricom awards mySafaricom App users, but for the ease with which the App makes using Safaricom network be; at times making one forget just how expensive those services are.
If you haven’t downloaded mySafaricom App, I urge you to head over to Google Play Store and download the App straight away.