NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Mobile phone operator Essar Telecom Kenya has introduced into the market a product that will enable it to reduce the total use of top-up scratch cards on its Yu network by 50 percent by the end of the year.
Chief Executive Officer Srinivasa Iyengar said on Thursday that they have launched an electronic top-up service dubbed ‘eneza’ aimed at encouraging their customers to shun scratch cards and shift towards the paperless airtime voucher.
“The new Eneza service is geared at providing a convenient paperless airtime recharge voucher platform for our growing subscriber base. Being electronic, the top up is done straight to your phone account and therefore there’s no need for scratch cards,” Mr Iyengar said during the launch in Kibera.
Customers can load their phones with any amount ranging between Sh10 to Sh99,999 and the CEO said that they would also spearhead the collection and recycling of used mobile phone scratch cards around the country.
This move is also aimed at extending ‘yu’ availability and taking Essar Telecom’s services closer to their customer.
This initiative, Mr Iyengar explained, complements the launch of the green top-up system that is user friendly and which demonstrates their commitment to conserve the environment as one way of delivering on its Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.
“We have taken strategic steps to eliminate use of paper based airtime recharge vouchers, which contribute to environmental degradation. This being the National Tree Planting season, we are happy to play our part in environmental conservation through avoidance of the destruction of trees that would help avert some of the natural disasters due to wanton deforestation,” said Mr Iyengar.
"For every 20,000 scratch cards not used we save a tree. We can save approximately 800 trees a month by using electronic top up instead of scratch cards."
The firm recently changed its name from Econet Wireless Kenya to Essar Telecom Kenya Limited as it sought to fight off rumours of an intended takeover bid.
With a subscriber base of 250,000, the operator has continued to make investments in different areas to ensure they achieve their target of having a countrywide presence in the next five months. They target to have two million subscribers by the end of the year.