As most Kenyan businesses move towards chip-enabled card technologies, Naivas – one of Kenya’s biggest supermarket chains isn’t taking chances either; it has introduced the ‘NaivasCard’ to reward its customers as well as allow them to save money through a virtual account. The service which falls under the supermarket’s digital wallet offering comes at an ideal time when most businesses in the country adopts similar technologies. The NaivasCard will enable customers save money as well as act as a prepaid card which can be used for other VISA related transactions. NaivasCard can be loaded with funds via Mpesa, Airtel Money and from any branches of the solution provider – Chase Bank.
The NaivasCard will also sort out the Ksh.1 coin change problems experienced by most supermarket chains in the country. Shortage of the Ksh.1 coin in the country had forced most retail outlets to substitute with other goodies such as sweets and matchboxes for change lower than Ksh.5. The move wasn’t optional forcing most customers who were rather uncomfortable with the idea to just deal-with-it. It hasn’t been an easy task even with the intervention of the Central Bank of Kenya which is entrusted with distribution of the currency in the country. The bank had attributed the shortage to customers who leave coins at home, and had appealed to shoppers to return coins they leave at home.
Naivas supermarket’s business development manager – Mr. Willy Kimani indicated the chain had set aside Ksh.45 million as a reward float for the card holders. In the new deal, Naivas customers will be able to top up and shop online at any VISA enabled merchant thanks to Chase Bank and VISA; the card is aimed at giving the user an ample way to manage funds securely. With Naivas Supermarket’s E-coin facility, change will be loaded directly on to the card eliminating the need for sweets and matchboxes as change.