Bonga by Alpha is a Messaging platform with integrated Mpesa

safaricom

#81

Looks like the beta maybe expanding or going into general release.


#82

Bookmarking just in case ikue invite only


#83

I am yet to experience any added advantage to using bonga over WhatsApp. As safaricom is busy promoting WhatsApp by ensuring you stay connected even when you run out of bundles, I would have expected the company to have a free download for bonga.


#84

I think Safaricom is using Bonga as a trojan horse to work on the building blocks for integrating mpesa into any social media application. When they are done it’s going to be a walk in the park for WhatsApp, Telegram, etc to just integrate directly not just in Kenya but in other countries where Vodafone mobile money has a footprint. The work they do might even cross-pollinate the Daraja API with good ideas.

Btw I noticed the studious silence from Safaricom reps like @jeremym and @TevinBongaDev on whether Bonga has any e2e encryption or they have access to any and all messages sent.

After a recent update, you can now use Bonga to send money to non-whitelisted/not on Bonga numbers. But you still can’t send them a message.


#85

Then why would they create their own platform if a working API is all they need? That sounds like a whole lot of wasted effort.

Corporate reps come here to pay lip service. I would like to be proven wrong.


#86

More likely they just want to leverage their user numbers and see where else they can generate added revenue. Perhaps with the hopes of building an MPESA backed eco-system to guarantee customer loyalty. And that would work if they listened to customers FIRST instead of trying these stunts that no one really wants. Apple built an ecosystem around itself by first giving users what they want - a near frictionless way to buy music on demand, on a track by track basis AT NO EXTRA COST to the consumer. This is what MPESA could have become, but the ever-increasing charges have eroded whatever perceived convenience the platform tried to offer. KES 112 to withdraw KES 10K?!? Seriously?!?

We had discussed them simply integrating with Facebook & WhatsApp to begin with while they focused on improving their existing services vs this ‘Try Everything’ approach that’s been proven to ONLY WORK AFTER securing your primary product. Microsoft diverted from it’s main offering and it suffered for it, Amazon focused on it’s main product and basically commoditized it before attempting to expand and it’s working well for them - Buffet calls Bezos ’ A genius at figuring out what customers want and making them happy’.

Until safcon starts to listen to it’s customers, REALLY LISTEN to what they want and make them happy, they risk ending up like Nokia of old & no amount of PR articles like this one:

image

will do them any favors with customers. Government support + perceived monopoly have encouraged safcon to adopt and reward ‘bad behavior’ like removing bundles people use and replacing them with one that has you paying 2x as much to get the same value as before. If purchase remained constant from the announcement date, safcon would have made an extra KES 1B by today, 28th September (give or take) from customers while giving them nothing basically :unamused:

A HUGE wake up call would be a version of the EU’s PSD2 law - where banks are now required to share customers data (with their consent) with any merchant the customer wishes to do business with - comes to Telcos in Kenya.

Imagine a law that requires all telcos to make an API and share their data with any company, so if a new telco comes in the market and 10M suffericomers choose to sign up on it, safcon will be required to hand over a legitimate copy of ALL THAT CUSTOMERS DATA to the new telco - everything from your account history, to user habits so they can use AI to build you a custom product/bundle that best suits you.

Just imagine, virtually overnight, a startup could go from a zero business to breaking a monopoly. It would really force these predatory companies to rethink product offerings and put customers first. But like I said earlier, govt support and perceived monopoly continue encouraging safcon’s bad behavior so unless there is a radical shift in consumer behavior, board leadership or government overhaul, social media uproar seems to be our only voice of reason.

They didn’t open a thread here the moment they decided to go public with the product’s information so no points for customer priority. Very curious how they want to build a tech platform without the public feedback of a tech community. Or maybe they have their own and we don’t know about/Techweez isn’t part of it.

I was asked to share the issues I faced privately within the apps ‘Talk To Us’ vs doing it on a public forum. So it’s #BongaNaMarafiki but not when it comes to discussing bugs? :unamused:

Plus, why would someone report via the app when their response estimate times are getting worse by the day? The app was updated yesterday (27th) + their twitter account seems active so little reason to think the team has disappeared

Among the things that need work is their selection process for sending notifications. Are they using predictions in their cloud messaging to segment users - determine who has updated and who hasn’t? :thinking:

  1. Update prompt/notification message comes even though the app has been updated
  2. Notification is sent while the ‘team’ is ‘away’ so responses unlikely to receive immediate attention
  3. Tell users exactly what’s in the update via the notification. This isn’t a treasure hunt

Elsewhere, we see examples of how Reddit can make or break companies and their products. In Kenya, to some extent, so can Techweez. When they realize that blogs are more than a marketing/commercial publication and use them to create meaningful conversations that help determine their true 1000 fans, then maybe their ‘wearing out customer trust and loyalty’ will start to improve.

But, like @mister_roboto said, maybe they’ll prove us wrong. We shall see.


#87

Hi Satoshi,
Sorry, must have missed this one. We use E2EE by default. We don’t have access to your messages.


#88

We’re devs not corporate reps… I promise!


#89

I encourage the engagement! It benefits everyone.


#90

i wish they would do a full stand alone mpesa sdk without relying on ussd


#91

No more ghost town! Invite your friends and request money from them!




#92

For those who have tried the app. Is it worth consideration …


#93

Are we still using Bonga or we finally got bored?


#94

They still have whitelist. Tried to register a number I would use and it did not. I guess, just like most saf products, they abandoned it before it could crawl.


#95

They allow people to invite each others, so those who are left out can be invited by those already on it.


#96

Ooh I see…


#97

Hello, can I get an invitation to try the app?


#98

From someone who has installed the app. It’s simple.


#99

Can you invite me to the app?


#100

Drop your number. I will help you on that…