Kenya’s Safaricom Pilots Messaging App
Safaricom, Kenya’s biggest telecoms company, is piloting a social messaging app that will link to its mobile money platform in an attempt to move the Company into the application business, the Company said.
Bonga, meaning ‘chat’ in Kiswahili, will be integrated with the Company’s popular financial services platform, M-Pesa to enable the almost 28 million of its users to communicate beyond sending money to one another, transforming the platform into a type of social network.
The idea stems from the “hypothesis that there’s an intricate connection between conversations and transactions, payments especially”, Kamal Bhattacharya, Chief Innovation officer at Safaricom, said.
“It’s one thing to share information with somebody it’s another thing to make a payment, to send money to somebody,” he said.
Bhattacharya said that M-Pesa users will be able to message each other on Bonga in three ways: user-to-user, user-to-business and fundraising through “social groups” much like the group function on WhatsApp.