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Why Tuskys is giving customers airtime for change

Supermarket chain Tuskys has started giving customers an airtime-for-change option to resolve coin shortages at its cash tills.

Shoppers can now convert as little as Sh5 of their change at the point-of-sale into Safaricom airtime, which is loaded instantly into their phones.

“We rolled out the airtime-for-change in July to solve the coins problem,” said Tuskys chief executive officer Dan Githua in an interview.

The option is available for Safaricom subscribers only.

The coins shortage and expensive logistics of handling the currency due to their bulkiness comes at an extra cost for retailers.

NIGHTMARE

“It is a nightmare for us in terms of delivery, space and logistics. For example we could have five tonnes of coins which means you have to hire a company to pick up or deliver them,” said Mr Githua.

The coin shortage had peaked at the end of 2012 when retailers had been forced to employ staff to go out and collects coins including in churches and residential estates, where they were more readily available.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) also started the “Chomoa Coins” campaign the same year, urging Kenyans to increase the circulation by using the coins accumulated in their homes, cars and offices.

CBK further injected 9 million pieces of coin in the same year to ease the circulation shortage.

SOURCE: Business Daily