The value of unclaimed Bonga points (Safaricom’s customer loyalty awards) has hit Sh4.5 billion in the year to March 2022, offering a great reprieve for customers who redeem food and household items.
This year’s figure represents a rise from Sh2.2 billion in 2015, Sh3.85 billion in 2019 and Sh3.94 billion in 2020 due to the operators increased options for customers to use the resource to pay for air tickets, shopping, fueling cars, and even repaying education loans.
However, Safaricom says the high amount of unclaimed Bonga points is bad for business and has introduced an expiry to the Bonga points service to encourage redemption.
The giant telecommunication company has been pushing its clients to redeem the points since they are accounted for as a liability or deferred income in the telco’s books and only recognized as revenue once they are utilized by respective customers.
“Effective January 1, 2023, all Bonga points older than three years will expire and will be unavailable for redemption,” said Safaricom in updated terms and conditions for the loyalty program.
The scheme was introduced in January 2007 to give subscribers one Bonga point for every Sh10 spent.
Bonga points build up and tie up revenues for the telco when redeemed for both individual subscribers and enterprises.
Safaricom applies the same concept to recognize airtime revenue. In this case, prepaid airtime sold to customers is held as deferred revenue until the customer uses it.