Bonga by Alpha is a Messaging platform with integrated Mpesa

safaricom

#61

Okay. I haven’t used it so…hehe. I’ll be using it more.


#62

Single source of truth -> The product is in Beta but in Prod having several sources sending you information to me(a user) is suspicious even if that information is not sensitive(updates, promotions etc…).


#63

Actually, I have noticed that several apps even Googles apps have recently been sending OTPs from normal numbers not shortcodes. If you use hakikisha to check you’ll find they are all Safaricom numbers registered under different names.

Methinks some of the people arrested and paraded around for sim swap fraud have actually been running illegal sim farms and offering such services to unsuspecting businesses.


#64

Hey, @TevinBongaDev, Why lock Bonga to Safaricom users only? With Mobile Money interoperability now a thing, shouldn’t this app be used to push the ability to send and receive money across networks? We don’t only chat with Safaricom users.


#65

why cant safaricom just work with Google to get a customized version of Android Messages for the kenyan market with all the MPESA and Safaricom related features and products.


#66

Hi @sarunibm
We acknowledge that, however, let me clarify a few things. 1. Users from other networks can sign up on Bonga. 2. Safaricom users can send money to all networks on Bonga.


#67

Hi @Dree_Alexander
That’s exactly why we have Bonga.


#68

Aye @TevinBongaDev on permissions, it would be nice to be very clear on the data you collect and what it is used for. Don’t be like Branch ama some of us will avoid you like a plague. That said, mimi niko team “Use it when it is as stable as a horse”.


#69

Hi @weshpierre3

You raise a fair point. We’ll work towards demystifying why we need the data we ask for from you guys.


#70


#71

Those who are using the app regularly here. Have you experienced these updates? Or the issues they are supposed to solve?


#72

I can’t say I’m using it regularly but yes some of these fixes are issues I reported in the in-app feedback thingie.

I wonder why they didn’t use the play store beta testing method though. The app has a lot of one star reviews on the play store and it’s almost all people installing the app and then discovering they weren’t whitelisted for beta.


#73

Well, this is okay. I see Google doing the same thing.


#74

Hi Satoshi,
We’d been using the Play Store’s beta testing track when we were still in the closed internal testing phase of the app. For the closed public beta we deemed it infeasible to use the beta testing track, because we’d have to whitelist way too many email addresses for that, and we were unable to find an API that would allow us to automate the process well enough.


#75

Google Play has everything you need to do this successfully. No need for an API (Unless you also need to whitelist emails on your side)

Internal Test Track

This is for the devs (if you are not using Git or something similar). Builds published here take a few minutes to show up.

Open Track

This is what you should have used. You do not need to whitelist any emails.

Just set the maximum number of testers, the feedback email then you are done. An opt-in link appears and you can share it with the world.

Since 2016, you can even nominate an application to appear on Google Play’s Early Access Program.

Link with sign up form - https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2016/09/the-power-of-early-access.html

With early access, the opt-in link is no longer needed. People will be able to search for the app on the Play Store and download it. Ratings & reviews are disabled.

Examples - https://play.google.com/store/apps/collection/promotion_early_access_APPLICATION?hl=en

I am sure Google would be more than happy to have you guys on their early access program. You are the biggest company in Kenya.


#76

I have three questions for those currently using Bonga:

  1. Would you drop mySafaricom app for Bonga as it is now?
  2. If somehow the features end up overlapping, which one would you keep?
  3. If they don’t, which one stays, or do you keep both?

#77

Wish I could reply but I’ve never used bongs since my no. hasn’t been whitelisted (I signed up more than a month ago on their website).

Anyway, for MySafaricom app, had to uninstall it. I was using it mainly for mpesa transfers and bill payments but it became crap. While making payments, more than 50% of the time I got the notification ‘system busy…’ so I went back to good ol’ STK.


#78

Though it was my saf app that was acting up, I uninstalled it a few weeks ago, it even managed to let me overdraw 50k on kcb-mpesa account, it quits just as you are about to enter pin, very annoying especially pale naivas as guys are breathing fire at all those using mpesa to pay.
As for bonga like songa and masoko, i am yet to see someone using it, songa refused to sign me up, by the way I no longer find any usefulness of the M-ledger app either, they need to consolidate everything into one super app like wechat.


#79

Isn’t this what people were calling out mKey for? Saying that it’s too busy?


#80

I think the market for these apps is still new. People have varied opinions. You bundle everything, some will like it, others won’t. You separate things and you still get varied opinions. I like the approaches of both organizations, eventually based on feedback they get from their users determines the future of the apps. Personally, I like mkey’s approach. Just like WeChat, you build one brand to rule them all rather than having brand x, y and z belonging to the same company.