Mobile phone operator Safaricom has announced a number of measures to help its customers as well as other stakeholders to weather the coronavirus pandemic.
The telco in mid-March announced it was zero-rating all person to person M-PESA transactions below KSh 1000 for the next 90 days. Additionally, the telco also waived all charges for payments made to all hospitals and dispensaries across Kenya, an offer that is valid for the next three months.
Presently, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) approved a decision by Safaricom to increase daily M-PESA transaction limits from KSh70,000 to KSh150,000. Users are also able to transact up to KSh300,000 up from the previous limit of KSh 140,000 and hold up to KSh 300,000 in their M-PESA wallets.
To support those working from home, Safaricom has doubled the bandwidth offered to Home Fibre customers at no extra costs to customers for a period of ninety days.
Safaricom is also working with the Government by providing a Call Centre and integrating a toll-free line 719 which has been set up by the National Emergency Response Committee on Coronavirus to support Kenyans in understanding how to prevent and manage suspected cases. The firm has also interconnected other networks to ensure that their subscribers can access the Call Centre. All calls to 719 are free. Over 300 customer care executives have been trained to handle calls coming through on 719.
Through its foundation, Safaricom has purchased and donated four thermal cameras for the Ministry of Health that will help with a screening at various border entry points.
Meanwhile, the telco has entered into a partnership with the National Social Insurance Fund (NSSF) to enable those purchasing houses from the Fund, to make payments through M-PESA. This cashless payment solution seeks to limit movement and physical contact when making payments.
Beginning March 2019, NSSF rolled out an entirely cashless system across its entire branches, providing for member benefit contribution through the Paybill 333300 or by dialling 3031#.
Safaricom has also partnered with Eneza Education, Longhorn Publishers and Viusasa to provide free access to educational content for primary and secondary school students studying from home.
The partnership with Eneza Education will see students from grade 4 to form 4 access learning and revision content on the SMS-based Shupavu291 free of charge following a 60-day waiver of the daily KES 3 subscription fee.
Learners will also be able to access educational content on Shupavu Web, Viusasa E-learning and the Longhorn E-learning portal through the Safaricom network at no data cost, up to 250MB per day, for the next 60 days.