As a country and globally, we are living in a time of uncertainty and unprecedented events, a situation that has been brought about by the COVID -19 pandemic that has threatened to bring a lot of business activities to a halt.
Indeed, I know most of us are scared of what the next hour, day or month will look like. We can only hope that everything goes back to normal sooner than later.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues for the cooperation they have shown so far as we strive to serve our customers and offer Kenyans critical services during this difficult time. Under these extraordinary circumstances they are doing incredible work.
We have provided all the necessary tools to enable everyone to continue working smoothly as we strive to continue providing a seamless experience to our customers.
I would like to take you through some of the measures we have taken so far as a company to ensure your safety and health comes first and also externally, what we have done to support the government’s efforts to combat this pandemic.
We have zero rated all person-to-person transactions below KES 1,000. M-PESA users are now be able to send any amount below KES 1,000 for free for 90 (ninety) days starting the 16th of March 2020.
This was done to increase mobile money usage in the country, to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through the physical handling of cash.
To support the small and micro business enterprises (SMEs), CBK approved the increase of daily M-PESA transaction limits from the current KES 70,000 to KES 150,000. Kenyans are now able to transact up to KES 300,000 up from the current limit of KES140,000, and hold up to KES 300,000 in their M-PESA wallets.
We have also zero rated all charges for payments made to all hospitals and dispensaries across the country for a period of ninety days to lighten the load for all those caring for their loved ones.
To support the Working from Home directive by the President, we have doubled the bandwidth offered to our Home Fibre customers at no extra costs for a period of ninety days. This is to ensure that all our customers remain connected as they carry on their duties while they stay at home
Call Centre Support – 719
Safaricom is 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.
We have 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 and are handling the line.
Safaricom Retail Shops
In line with the social distancing requirement by the Ministry Of Health, we have made sure this has been enforced at all our shops countrywide. All customer facing staff, have been sensitized and equipped with personal protective equipment and sanitizers for use while serving our customers. We have put in place measures to ensure that all our staff are protected from exposure as they serve customers efficiently and as fast as possible.
Keeping in line with the president’s directive for everyone to stay at home, we encourage our customers to make use of our Self-Service options which include; Zuri Chatbot (available on Facebook Messenger, Telegram and WhatsApp); USSD (*100# for pre-paid , *200# for post-paid and *234# for M-PESA hotline); our Interactive Voice Biometric System also known as Jitambulishe (Dial 100 for pre-paid , 200 for post-paid and 234 for the M-PESA hotline); and the MySafaricom app.
The Foundation has purchased and donated four thermal cameras to the Ministry of Health to help with screening at various border entry points. We believe that this will go a long way in ensuring that travellers coming into the country are properly screened.
We have been told enough times that the best way to avoid getting into contact with the Coronavirus is to stay home, frequently wash your hands, avoid physical interaction such as shaking hands and avoiding crowded places. These are simple guidelines that if we all follow, we will have won the fight against this tragic pandemic. It is critical that we all take the necessary precautions to safeguard not just our health, but that of our children, our families and those living around us.
The economic and social damage from the COVID-19 pandemic is huge and is expected to be bigger for as long as the pandemic is not contained.
I urge all of us to play our part in ensuring that we obey government directives, stay safe and work from home. It is a tough time for us all and we can only achieve success in this fight if we work together. Let us all be our brother’s keeper.
As a company, we are committed to play our part in supporting the government’s efforts during this crucial time. We are also working to ensure that our customers continue to get uninterrupted services across all our touch points.
We believe with the measures that we have taken through M-PESA, providing affordable data and the call center support, we will win this fight together. As we always say, Safaricom is FOR YOU.