Leading Kenyan operator Safaricom has announced the launch of a scheme that will allow customers to access a brand new 4G-enabled smartphone by paying as little as KES20 (about $0.19) daily for the devices.
In what is described as a unique partnership with Google and a first in the world, Safaricom will give qualifying customers easier access to the internet through the Neon Ray Pro, a 4G Android (Go edition) smartphone.
The initiative, called Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, will give qualifying customers access to the capabilities of a smartphone via a pay-as-they-use scheme, on a daily or weekly basis.
The project, it seems, is particularly aimed at encouraging customers currently on 2G devices to upgrade and enjoy high-speed internet connectivity.
To participate, customers need to dial a specific code and accept the terms and conditions to opt into the service, after which they will receive an SMS approval of their eligibility and the value of the device they can purchase under the service.
Eligibility for the financing plan will be based on customer credit score. The subscriber will need a history with Safaricom network going back at least one year and be between 18 and 75 years of age.
This new plan will no doubt reinforce Safaricom’s reputation for innovation, earned in part under former CEO Michael Joseph, who is himself in the news as Safaricom has announced his appointment as the new board chairman, replacing the long-serving Nicholas Ng’ang’a, who has retired. Joseph was CEO from 2000 – 2010 and again from 2019 to 2020, following the death of his successor Bob Collymore.
As the chairman, Michael Joseph will be tasked with overseeing the operations, leadership and governance of the Safaricom Board, ensuring effectiveness and setting the agenda.