Safaricom has partnered with Uchumi Supermarkets in Kenya to promote the use of its LIPA NA M-PESA service.
The promotion running from April 25 to June 6 will see four lucky winners walk home with 4 Toyota Rav4’s at the end of the promo of fridges, washing machines, TV’s, Blenders, toasters, electric kettles, DVD players, tablets smartphones and Safaricom airtime daily among others in weekly draws.
To enter the promo and stand a chance to win prizes, one has to shop goods worth just Ksh 500 at any Uchumi Supermarket countrywide, use LIPA NA M-PESA as their preferred payment method and are automatically opted into the promotion. The more one shops, the more they gain points and stand a better chance to win.
Safaricom sends SMS notification of how many points they have accumulated. Users can also confirm how many points they have accumulated by dialing *244#confirmation after every purchase.
According to Safaricom, every time one spends Ksh 500 to Ksh 999 they earn one point. Between Ksh 1,000 to 2,499 they earn 3 points, between Ksh 2,500 to Ksh 4,999 they earn 5 points while Ksh 5,000 to 9,999 equals to 10 points and over Ksh 10,000 earns one 20 points.
Though the promotion rewards faithful shoppers and LIPA NA M-PESA users, it’s limited to Uchumi Supermakets, and am pretty sure there are towns in the country without any Uchumi branch. It’s other downside is time. The last time I paid with LIPA NA M-PESA, I hated it. The it took a few minutes for me and the cashier to wait for an SMS notification confirming the transaction, ten minutes slower compared to cash or credit card. Pay Bill and Buy Goods are pretty to different to me, but to someone else; everything is just a bill to pay. It also sucks when your mum or boss calls for two hours just as you are about to slot in that secret PIN.
LIPA NA M-PESA might be outshined by Nakumatt Global card , Airtel Money Visa Card, NationHela, Equity Bank’s mobile NFC POS systems and cash as they are all universally accepted and not just in Uchumi. Transferring cash from a bank account to M-PESA to power LIPA NA M-PESA is costly and time wasting than using debit/credit card directly at the till.
However, it pays to be positive, using LIPA NA M-PESA means you don’t have to wait for balance even if it’s just a bob. And as long your phone battery doesn’t run dry at the cash till, your money is always safe.