How to Activate Safaricom's Data Save

Safaricom's added a new feature called Data Save in it their revamped My Data Manager service. The Data Save feature saves data by lowering the speeds at which you connect to the internet.

This feature is useful in data bundle management as the high speeds provided by 3G, 4G/LTE and 4G+ connections may download a lot of content before you can take action. This is especially true of streaming content and automatic downloads such as software updates in smartphones.

For example, streaming sites (e.g. YouTube) will usually default to the highest quality of a video (HD formats) if they detect you are on a fast network and higher quality equals more data. By capping the speeds one can therefore use less data depending on their kind of usage.

Users of some popular social media apps may also save data by using some of Safaricom's Swift Squad tips.



Enable Safaricom's Data Save

safaricom data save
Safaricom's Data Save

Enabling this service will lower the maximum speed at which you can browse and download content from the internet. Safaricom doesn't specify the maximum download and upload speeds when this service is activated however the fellows at Techweez have tested it and estimate it’s around 1mbps.

1. Dial *544#, go the next page by replying with 98 followed by 11 for My Data Manager. You can also dial *456*7# then select Data Manager.

2. Next reply with 1 for the first option: Data Save.
select data save
Select Data Save

3. Finally reply with 1 for Save data by reducing speed then confirm by selecting Accept.
select first option
Select First Option

You should then get a notification that you'll now browse and download on reduced speeds.


How to Deactivate Data Save

If you want to restore the normal full speeds for faster browsing and downloading, go to the Data Save menu as explained above then select the second option "Full speeds for faster downloads". Confirm by choosing accept and you should get a message that you'll now browse and download on full speeds.

How to Activate Safaricom's My Data Manager

Safaricom's My Data Manager is a feature that allows subscribers to control their data bundle usage. The basic function of this feature is an Out of Bundle Management feature that restricts data usage to only active bundles. This way data is NOT charged from the subscriber account's airtime once a data bundle is exhausted while browsing or downloading/uploading content.

This has been the only function up until recently when Safaricom added a new feature in Data Manager called Data Save. The Data Save feature works differently by throttling down the maximum speed at which one can connect to the internet. It's therefore a useful companion to this feature as one not only gets to save their airtime but also use less data.



Enable My Data Manager

My Data Manager
My Data Manager
To enable My Data Manager feature that prevents billing data from your airtime after your bundle gets finished do the following:

A. For Your Number

1. Dial *544# and go the next page then reply with 11 for My Data Manager. Alternatively, you can dial *456*7# then select Data Manager.
my data manager ussd
My Data Manager USSD

2. Next reply with 2 for the second option "Don’t Browse without a data bundle".
second option
Select second option

3. In the next page reply with 1 to Activate the service. You should get a notification that Data Manager has been activated.



For Another Number

1. In My Data Manager menu reply with 4 for Activate/Deactivate for other Number.
activate data manager
Activate Service

2. Reply with 1 for Activate.

3. Next reply with the Safaricom number of the other user. You'll then get a notification that Data Manager has been activated for that number.


How to Deactivate My Data Manager

To disable My Data Manager just go through the steps for enabling but in the menu options select Deactivate instead. You can likewise disable the service for another number in the same menu it's activated by selecting the Deactivate option.

How to Check Safaricom Data Bundle Balance

Safaricom offers a wide range of data bundles that differ by bundle size, validity periods (daily, weekly or monthly) and the method used for payment (Airtime/M-Pesa, Bonga or Okoa Data). One may also receive data from another Safaricom user through the data transfer service Sambaza Internet.

All these data bundles are typically bought by dialling *544# or through mySafaricom App and other Safaricom Short Codes. After purchasing a bundle however, it becomes necessary to check the data balance to ensure one stays within their plan or budget.

More importantly also is to avoid having the data charged from airtime once the bundle is exhausted though this can be prevented by activating Safaricom's My Data Manager.

Let's take a look at a couple ways through we can query our data bundle balances for both Prepay and Postpaid Safaricom customers as well as those Roaming.



Query Your Safaricom Data Balance

check data balance
Check Data Balance

You can check your data bundle balance three different ways:
  • Using USSD
  • Using SMS
  • Using mySafaricom App

A. Check Data Balance using USSD

1. Dial *544#.

2. Reply with 98 until you're in the last page.

3. Finally reply with 9 for Balance.

You bundle balance will shortly then be delivered through an SMS.

Alternative Method:

1. Dial *100# then reply with 1 for My Account.

2. Reply with 1 for Balance.

Shortly after this you'll get both your airtime and bundle balance sent via an SMS.

Checking Data Balance When Roaming

Safaricom customers that are roaming can check their data roaming bundle balance by dialling 100*50# or *200*50#.



B. Check Data Balance using SMS

This method is mostly tailored for those checking their Easy Data Bundle balances for the BIGBox or the Safaricom Digital TV and Internet Box. Nevertheless, prepaid users can also use it.

1. Create a new SMS with the message Bal and send it to 144.

2. You should then receive an SMS with the bundle balance.
balances in sms
Account Balances in an SMS

On mobile you will first get a USSD message with all your balances including those for data, SMS, bonga points and any redeemed bonga points items. You can then opt to save this notification in your SMS inbox.


C. Check Data Balance using mySafaricom App

mySafaricom app is only available for users on Android, Windows Phone and iOS. This assumes you've the app installed and have already completed the first time set up.

1. In mySafaricom app's start page tap the Check Balance option. This will list your data balance in addition to showing your airtime, minutes and SMS balances.
my safaricom app data balance
Data Balance on My Safaricom App

2. To query the Data balance only, still on the start page tap on My Account option then select the Data item. This will show all your active data subscriptions and their balances.

Checking Which Safaricom Data Bundle You're Subscribed to

In certain situations, you might find yourself not knowing which Safaricom data bundle you're subscribed to. This often occurs after prolonged periods of not using a line. Topping up such a line may therefore result in unwanted deductions in airtime should there be active bundle subscriptions that are set to auto renew. This is usually the case with daily, weekly and monthly data bundles.

For this and other reasons it may therefore necessary to confirm which bundle one is subscribed to without having to part with some airtime. Fortunately, Safaricom provides the means to do this.



Check Your Active Data Bundle Subscriptions

check active data bundle
Confirm data subscriptions

1. Dial *100# on your Safaricom line.

2. Reply with 5 for My Subscriptions.
My Subscriptions

3. In the Check My Subscriptions menu reply with 1 for Data Bundles.
data bundles
Data Subscriptions

4. Next reply with 1 for View Active Bundles.
active data
Show Active Data Bundles

5. You should get a USSD reply informing you of any active bundle that you may be subscribed to.

Safaricom Home Fibre Contacts

Safaricom Home Fibre is currently rolling out in various towns in the country. You can confirm whether the service is available in your area by checking the active locations or you can request a confirmation via USSD and get called by Safaricom Home customer care.

On the other hand, you may also wish to contact them to manage your account if you're already connected to the service.



Contacting Safaricom Home

safaricom home contacts
Safaricom Home

You can contact the customer care through:

1. Calling

Option 1: If You're Already Connected

Call 400 with the Safaricom line that you pay with for the service.


Option 2: If Not Yet Connected

1. Dial *400# with your Safaricom line and from the menu reply with the option regarding your query.
Safaricom Home USSD

2. For example: To confirm whether your area is covered reply with 5.

3. You'll receive an SMS with the instructions to either dial *400*1# or check the coverage online. Choose the first option by dialling *400*1#.

4. Follow the prompts by replying with the location you wish to check for Safaricom Home's availability i.e. Town, Estate and Nearest Landmark (e.g. school, church).

5. You'll then get a USSD reply that you'll be contacted by a Safaricom Home representative within 24 hours.

6. After a few minutes (or more) you'll be called by an agent from the number 0722 000000.


2. Via Email

Send an email with your queries to safaricomhome@safaricom.co.ke

How to Unsubscribe from Telkom Kenya Daily Data Bundles

Telkom Kenya offers a variety of data bundles whose validity periods range from daily, weekly or monthly. Daily data bundles can either be purchased once or can be auto-renewed every day.

While the one-time bundle expires after a 24-hour period the subscription based one is automatically renewed every 24 hours by deducting the bundle's price from the airtime. If there is insufficient or no airtime in the account, the renewal is postponed until when the subscriber tops up again.

On the other hand, if the bundle is exhausted before the validity period is over, the data is automatically charged from the airtime. This can however be prevented by activating Telkom's My Data Manager.

To stop the auto-renewal of daily bundles, a subscriber is required to unsubscribe from the specific bundle they're subscribed to. To do that, do the following.



Unsubscribe from Auto-renewing Daily Bundles

telkom kenya daily bundles
Telkom Daily Bundles

1. Dial *544# on your Telkom Kenya line.

2. Reply with 2 for Data Bundles followed by 1 for 1 Day Bundles.
one day bundles
1 Day Bundles

3. Next reply with number of the particular daily bundle that you are subscribed to e.g. 2 for the 25MB @ 10/-
daily bundles
Daily Bundles

4. Now just reply with 3 for Unsubscribe.
unsubscribe option
Unsubscribe

You should get a USSD message that you've been successfully unsubscribed from that specific data offer.

How to Check the Validity and Status of a KRA PIN

A Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) PIN identifies one as a taxpayer. Once a person applies and is approved for one, they're are obliged to fulfil their tax obligations as prescribed by law. This includes but not limited to payment of taxes and filing of tax returns.

Unemployed persons such students who are in possession of a PIN (e.g. due to loan or job applications) but have no taxable income are likewise required to file nil tax returns.

Depending on the context, it may be necessary to verify the authenticity of a KRA PIN that a person may provide. This establishes that a PIN is genuine and whether it's status is active. It could also go a long way in preventing cases of fraud and corruption.

Fortunately, employers, creditors or any other concerned entity that may wish to verify that a KRA PIN is genuine can do it on the KRA's iTax site. This can also be useful for persons wishing to verify their basic details when they cannot log into their iTax dashboard after forgetting their KRA Password.



Verify a KRA PIN

check kra pin
Check KRA PIN

To check the validity of any KRA PIN do the following:

1. Go to the iTax site (you don't have to log in).

2. Below the PIN Checker open the Click Here link.
pin checker
PIN Checker

3. In the PIN checker page enter the KRA PIN to check then complete the security stamp challenge.
Enter PIN to Check (click-to-enlarge)

4. Finally click the Consult button to complete the request.
pin checker information
Pin Checker Results (click-to-enlarge)

As shown above, the checker will output the basic details of the taxpayer including their:
  • Names
  • PIN Status
  • iTax Status
  • Address Details
  • Tax Obligation Details
This way one can establish whether the information provided by an indvidual or their credentials (such as their National ID) matches with those that PIN Checker outputs.

Resetting iTax Password When Email Address is Inaccessible

Resetting one's KRA iTax password is an easy process provided one has access to the email address they registered their account with. This is because the reset password is sent to this email address.

There are situations however when this may not possible. A common scenario is when one can no longer access their registered email address. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as:
  • The email address account has been closed permanently. This may happen if you registered your iTax account with your company's work email. It's the policy of some companies to close email accounts of employees who no longer work for them e.g. after retirement, resignation or a lay off.
  • One has forgotten their email's password and cannot login or reset it.
  • The email address password has been changed after being hacked.
  • One registered with another person's email address who they can no longer reach.
In all these scenarios one is locked out of their iTax account. As such one cannot access crucial services such as filing returns, updating iTax details or applying for a KRA compliance certificate.



Getting Back Access to Your iTax Account

Fortunately, one may still be able to access their account even under such circumstances. This will involve two things:
  • Your iTax details have to be updated by changing the old email address with a new one that you can access.
  • Once this has been done, you'll go through the normal reset process in order to receive your reset password.

1. Updating the Inaccessible Email

Email address amendments usually require an approval from a KRA agent to take effect. But this is only possible if one can access the account to make this change in the first place.

Since this is not possible in our case, you'll have to contact the KRA customer care to make this change for you. Provide them with details on why you can no longer access your registered email address. They will open a support ticket for you and give you on a way forward e.g. providing an alternative email address where the code can be sent.

You may be asked to provide a scanned copy of your National ID in addition to your KRA PIN.

You can contact the KRA customer care through the following channels:
1. Email: callcentre@kra.go.ke
2. Live Chat: Visit the KRA Support Homepage. At the bottom of this page click the Chat With Us button. You'll then be prompted to create an account first so as to begin chatting with an agent.
3. Social Media: Twitter Handle (@KRACare)
4. Phone: +254 20 4 999 999 or +254 711 099 999
5. In Person: Visit the nearest KRA Office

After the change has been made you'll have to wait until this change has been approved. When this is done, you'll be sent your updated KRA PIN Certificate to your new email address. The approval may take some time.



2. Resetting the Old iTax Password

reset kra itax password
Reset iTax Password
Once the above has been done, you can proceed with resetting your iTax password as usual:

1. Log in into iTax by entering your KRA PIN.

2. In the password page, click the Forgot Password/Unlock Account link.

3. In the Forgot Password page, answer the security stamp question then submit.

4. You'll receive the reset password in your email address.

5. Go back to the iTax login page and login with this password.

6. This will then take you to the first time log in page where you'll be required to create a new password and security question & answer.

7. After doing this you'll be able to access the iTax dashboard. You may however be prompted to first verify your email address again by sending a verification code.

Send it then go to your email address. Copy the code (OTP for Email Verification) and submit it in the prompt to complete the process. You should now be able to access your iTax account dashboard.


Preventing this from happening again

To avoid such a situation in the future:
  • Use third party email services such as Gmail, Yahoo and Microsoft for your iTax account registration or email changes.
  • If you must use a work email address, make sure to update it with one you can access before you leave the company.
  • Use a password manager program or app to securely store your login credentials or record them somewhere to avoid forgetting them.

How to Transfer Airtel Kenya Zawadi Points

Did you know that similar to Bonga Points, you can actually transfer your Zawadi points to another number? This rather invaluable if you are in need of some extra points to redeem a service or device or just want to trade your points. By trading points I mean selling and buying of Zawadi points as it seems there is a whole market for that nowadays thanks to Bonga Points being turned into a commodity.

By wanting to do this I'll assume you've already enrolled for the Zawadi Points and have some points accumulated. Your recipient should likewise be enrolled into the program.



Getting Started

transfer zawadi points
Zawadi Points

Before you can transfer, there are a couple of things worth noting:
  • the minimum amount of zawadi points you can transfer is 50. 
  • you should also be left with a minimum balance of 50 points after transferring your zawadi points, i.e.you're not allowed to transfer your entire points.
  • Before you can transfer your zawadi points you're required to set up your Zawadi Points PIN. This is put in place to prevent anyone from transferring your points without your knowledge.


A. Setting up or Changing the Zawadi Points Pin

1. Dial *326#

2. From the menu select option 5 for Set or Change PIN.
pin
Setting up the PIN
3. You'll then get a prompt to enter your old PIN. If it's your first time, the default PIN is 1234. If you're changing your PIN, enter the PIN that you set up.

4. Next you'll get a prompt to enter a New PIN. Enter a four-digit number, and while you're at it use something less obvious and that you don't use anywhere else.
pin change
PIN Updated

5. Now just wait and you should get the above confirmation SMS that your PIN has been changed.



B. Transferring Zawadi Points

1. Dial *326#

2. Choose option 4 for Transfer Points
transfer zawadi
Transferring Zawadi Points

3. Enter the number of points you want to transfer. Remember the minimum is 50.
minimum points
Minimum - 50 Zawadi Points

4. Enter the number of the recipient of points.

5. Enter your Zawadi Points PIN.

6. You'll then get a prompt that the points have been successfully transferred.