MY1963 commuters to Rewards loyalty points to retain Customers

Matatu owners have now partnered with Fibre Space to reward passengers for their business with concrete payback in Eastland Nairobi County, a revelation meant to increase customer retention according to a study by the Harvard Business School last year. The aim of the initiative is to rebrand the Matatu industry from its old image as a source of extortion to a position where to be seen to respect and appreciate its commuters. 
According to Fibre Space General Manager Mwakio Ngale, User of MY1963 card can track the sum of their points. These points are shown on the receipt each time they use their card to pay bus fare. Commuters are able to Load their cards using mobile payment, Mpesa, and redeem Point 63 using an SMS code. MY1963 is targeting over 8,000 matatus and buses in the country.

Cash-light fare system MY1963 is now set to begin functioning by the first day of February 2015. the launched of loyalty point plan will allow users to build up redeemable points used to get free matatu rides as part of an innovative partnership between Fibre Space and Public Service Vehicle SACCOs that is aiming to reward users.Commuters earn a point (Point 63) for every Sh10 they spend on fares. A commuter who pays fares worth Sh1000 with the card is guaranteed a Sh100 worthy free ride.

It is projected to grant card users the same as Safaricom’s Bonga points where it rewards loyal subscribers with free talk time. The system is dawning to business in the country that is now using the strategy to strengthen partnership with their clients. MY1963 cards are offered free of charge by sales representatives, mostly from established PSV SACCOs.

The decision to launch the loyalty points was geared by the demand while piloting the project with over 35,000 commuters. It is the first of its kind in the PSV sector in Kenya in partnership with Safaricom Ltd. A study by the Harvard Business School last year revealed that increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent.

 The study which involved 7000 clients in different business sectors in the USA discovered that a customer who feels appreciated becomes part of a brand and not even greater distance nor increased prices can prevent him from coming back. 

The finding ties with the MY1963 card business. With many stakeholders especially in the transport sector now approaching the company for partnership to signup product acceptance.

Users of the MY1963 card can also borrow fare of between Sh50-Sh300 loans for fare. It is branded as kopa fare (To have a little loan for bus fare) an initiative that gives loyal commuters a chance to travel even when they don’t have credit on their cards.

 According to Mwakio, their strategic partner Safaricom’s Credit Advance, which enables clients to borrow credit that is repaid with no interest. Mwakio said his company understands that financial constrains are inevitable in any sector of economy and hence are shielding their clients from inconveniences that may arise due to lack of credit.

”Fibre Space is a local company that understands the normal lives of Kenyans and hence works towards providing solutions to the problems facing them,” said Mwakio. 

The Kopa Fare programme will also help resolve financial conflicts between commuters and PSV operators by hence creating a more viable social economic environment. He added

To get credit advance on the platform, a client needs to dial *100#.

.Last week five PSV Saccos with 250 vehicles plying Nairobi’s Jogoo road route, Nairobi county  have tied with technology company Fibre Space Ltd to use its cash light fare system ‘MY1963’ to end cash payments for matatu fares, with ROG SACCO leading the way, saying it will refuse to accept cash fares from February2015.

The owners claim the government’s relaxation on the execution of the cash light system pushed them to self implement in a campaign that is now targeting over 100,000 passengers on one of the busiest roads in Nairobi putting paid to claims that SACCOs are not ready to embrace fare payment technology. 

The campaign is targeting Nairobi’s working class along Jogoo road, students, estate traders, and mama mbogas, who are first to use the matatus from the estates to city markets like Wakulima Market, where they buy the produce to later sell to dwellers of estates along Jogoo Road.

The card sellers known as activators started by giving the passengers the cards free of charge and then explain to them how the card works through the self care option. Additional information is also providing on leaflets. Registration of the card is free with passengers needing only a national identification card, a valid phone number and date of birth information to create individual accounts. Users are then able to load money through M-PESA at no additional cost, thanks to a partnership with Safaricom.
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