Following a series of complaints from its subscribers that their accumulated points from the “Bonga” loyalty scheme were being transferred without their permission, Safaricom has launched a new feature to secure against unauthorized access.
The new feature allows Safaricom users to protect their “Bonga” points through a new PIN (personal identification number)-based security system and is meant to discourage unauthorized transfer of points.
The complaints followed Safaricom’s recent announcement of new features to the loyalty program which enable customers to transfer their points to family and friends as way of improving customer experience.
While the transfer functionality has been well-received, it has in some cases resulted in unwarranted and unauthorized transfer of loyalty points from certain subscribers’ accounts.
“Safaricom is continuously innovating as we seek to improve customer experience in our offering and entire value proposition. This is one instance where we have listened to customer feedback and used it to improve our services,” said Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore in a media release.
To set Bonga Points PIN, PrePay customers are required to: dial *126# and reply with 5 or dial *126*5#; select the “Set New PIN option”; enter the National ID number; enter the last direct top up amount; enter PIN; confirm PIN then click “OK” to confirm. For PostPay customers, one has to dial *126# and reply with 5 or dial *126*5#; enter current Bonga PIN; enter and confirm new PIN then click “OK” to confirm.
All good but I wish the people who developed the new security system to protect against unauthorized “Bonga” access could make the process a little simpler. As it is, it is even more complicated than sending cash via M-Pesa. Hope someone will read this and take note, and review the whole process with view to making it easier and simpler for the general public who may not know how to navigate through the whole process but still need to protect and secure their “Bonga” points.
Launched in January 23, 2007 the Bonga Points program is open to all PrePay and PostPay subscribers, and has been a major driver of customer loyalty on the Safaricom network.
Bonga Points may be redeemed for rewards ranging from free minutes, SMS, MMS and data bundles to devices at any Safaricom Shop countrywide from as low as 25 points, which has made it all the more tempting for people to try and accumulate as many points as they can possibly can, and at whatever means, just to later go and redeem for the various prizes.The points can also be transferred to a fellow subscriber, under the latest innovation on the program.