Giant telco, Safaricom, and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), the principal securities exchange in Kenya have announced a new partnership to enable Kenyans to invest in stocks using their accrued Bonga points. The service which is now available to all Safaricom customers, who can redeem their points will see them buy back their points at a rate of KES 1 for every 5 points via the ‘Lipa Na Bonga’ menu on USSD *126# or MySafaricom App.
They will then key in the Trading Participant’s paybill number followed by their CDSC (Central Depository and Settlement Corporation) account number. All these transactions will be made possible through licensed Trading Participants, with ten of them already activated. These include NCBA Capital, Faida Investment Bank, AIB-AXYS, ABC Capital, Old Mutual Securities, Kingdom Securities, Suntra Investments, Francis Drummond & Company, Dyer & Blair Investments, and Sterling Capital LTD. More Trading Participants will join in due course.
“As we focus on the next phase of our journey to go beyond, our aim is to continue transforming the lives of our customers by delivering a wide range of products and services that align with their needs. Through this partnership with NSE, we seek to give our customers more value and utility for their Bonga Points while creating more avenues for driving economic empowerment,” said Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom.
On his side, Chief Executive Officer, Nairobi Securities Exchange, Geoffrey Odundo said through this initiative, they intend to unlock more investment opportunities to investors using convenient and innovative solutions and that the new partnership resonates with its resolve to connect capital with opportunities as anchored in the NSE 2020-2024 strategic plan.
“It provides an avenue for retail investors to participate in the NSE and is coming on the backdrop of the stock market’s recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Odundo.
The Bonga loyalty scheme, which was introduced in 2007 to reward customers for using Safaricom’s products and services, has seen both retail and corporate customers accumulate 16 billion points, valued at over KES 4 billion. Customers accumulate a point for every KES 10 spent on voice, data, SMS, and M-PESA charges.
Over the years, Safaricom has enhanced the Bonga scheme through ‘Jisort na Bonga,’ which empowers customers to redeem their points for phones and accessories at any Safaricom shop or dealer outlet, and the introduction of ‘Lipa Na Bonga’ in 2016 to enable customers to redeem their points and pay for goods and services at Lipa Na M-PESA merchants countrywide. Customers can also use their points to settle utility bills such as Home Fibre, PostPay, KPLC, GOTV, and DSTV as well as NHIF and NSSF dues.
NSE on the other end continues to play a vital role in the growth of Kenya’s economy through mobilization of domestic resources and international capital. The NSE is a founder member of the African Securities Exchanges Association and the East African Securities Exchanges Association.