The unclaimed value of Bonga points has hit Sh4 billion, according to Safaricom’s 2018 annual report.
‘Bonga Points’ is a loyalty programme introduced in January 2007 for both Prepay and Postpay subscribers.
Under the scheme, subscribers earn one Bonga point for every Sh10 spent on voice calls, short messages service (SMS), data and M-PESA services.
Safaricom says that points can be redeemed for airtime, SMS or merchandise such as phones, modems and tablets at Safaricom retail outlets.
The Group has in place the ‘Bonga everywhere’ scheme where subscribers are able to utilise their Bonga points in appointed retail outlets like supermarkets to purchase goods and services.
As at March 31 2018, 85% of the points redeemed in the year were for non-merchandise items (voice minutes, data bytes and SMS) while 15% was redeemed for merchandise items.
In Safaricom books, these points are accounted for as a liability and will only translate into income when redeemed.
Safaricom says Bonga points are valued based on a fair value which is determined by historical redemption information. The length of the historical period used to determine the fair value is set by management and is based on previous redemptions rates on airtime, data, SMS or merchandise.
In the period under review, Bonga points earned by customers were valued at Sh 3.5 billion while those earned by Enterprise Business customers in the year totalled Sh 533 million.
The report says that Enterprise Business customers earn loyalty points upon achievement of their monthly revenue targets and the accumulated amounts are only redeemable after the maturity of the underlying revenue contracts with the Group.
Customers have continually complained over the non-rollover and expiry of internet bundles at the end of the contractual month.
The statement says, “Deferred revenue Sh4, 811 million relates mainly to unused airtime and bundled resources which will be recognized as revenue upon customer usage.”
It adds, “All customer loyalty credits (Bonga points) which form a separate component of the sales transaction are reported as deferred revenue and forms part of accrued liabilities. The accrued liability relating to customer loyalty credits of Shs 3,508 million is expected to be recognised into revenue as customers redeem their points.
Safaricom is currently running the #MaishaNiMpesa campaign where it is rewarding users for funds received, sent or spent through M-Pesa.