Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phones In Kenya Explained (2022 Guide)

Thanks to Safaricom’s Lipa Mdogo Mdogo program, everyone eligible for the service can own a smartphone. They recently added the Tecno Spark 7 and Tecno Camon 17 to their Neon Ray Pro listing. So, the trio line up the best Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phones in Kenya.

Given that Lipa Mdogo Mdogo is a phone financing service, there are several terms and conditions that you must comply with. You also must meet a few basic requirements to qualify for the loan.   

And when it comes to payments, not only do you have to pay promptly, but you also have to be wary of the penalties of failing to do so.     

This guide shall take you through all these basics to help you understand the Lipa Mdogo Mdogo program.   

But if you are in a hurry, below is a table overview of the three Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phones and their relevant costs.

Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phones

Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phones in Kenya

Lipa Mdogo Mdogo SmartphonesBest SpecsDepositDaily InstallmentFull Cost
Neon Ray Pro5.5-Inch LCD Display 2MP Rear Camera2MP Secondary Camera 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM2500mah BatteryWi-Fi, Bluetooth, And RadioAndroid Go Edition4G-EnabledKsh 500Ksh 20Ksh 6,500
Tecno Spark 76.8-Inch Screen with 720x1640p Resolution2GB RAM + 32GB ROM8MP Selfie + 16MP Main Camera 5000mah BatteryFingerprint Sensor Android 11Ksh 3,000Not SpecifiedKsh 18,000
Tecno Camon 176.6-Inch Dot-In Display 16MP Selfie48+2MP+2MP4GB RAM + 128GB ROM 5000mah Battery 18W Flash Charge Android RKsh 5,000Not SpecifiedKsh 27,000

What Is Lipa Mdogo Mdogo and How Does It Work?

Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, a Swahili translation for ‘pay in installments, is a collaboration service between Safaricom and Google that allows Safaricom customers to own smartphones and pay for them in installments.

For example, you only need to deposit Ksh 500 and pay Ksh 20 daily for nine months to own a Neon Ray Pro.

Generally, you don’t completely own the phone until you pay the last installment. The advantage, however, is that you can opt to pay weekly or monthly and not just daily, thus more flexibility.

Who Qualifies?

Usually, the easiest way to know if you qualify for Lipa Mdogo Mdogo is by dialing *544#, selecting ‘Lipa Mdogo Mdogo,’ and accepting the terms and conditions.

After that, you need to wait for a confirmation message that will indicate whether you qualify for Lipa Mdogo Mdogo or not.

But overall, here are the requirements for eligibility:

  • Be a Safaricom customer for at least one year
  • Own a 2G or 3G phone
  • Be 18-75 years
  • Be free from CRB listing due to a pending loan

How to Activate Lipa Mdogo Mdogo

You can activate Lipa Mdogo Mdogo by pressing *544# on your phone and then selecting Lipa Mdogo Mdogo. The option for Lipa Mdogo Mdogo keeps changing. So, confirm it first before accepting the term. 

After that, you can wait to receive a confirmation message from Safaricom.

What Phones Can You Buy?

One Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phone that’s making the waves is the Neon Ray Pro. Its overall cost is Ksh 6,500, which you pay over nine months.

While some people call it an ‘advanced Kabambe,’ Neon Ray Pro has some decent specs that make it worth it. They include a 5.5-inch LCD screen, 5MP rear camera, a 5MP selfie camera, 1GB RAM, and 8GB inbuilt storage.

Other phones, which are recent additions, include Tecno Camon 17 (read its full review here) and Tecno Spark 7.

The Tecno Camon 17 Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phone goes for Ksh 27,000, but you need to make a Ksh 5,000 deposit. On the other hand, the Tecno Spark 7 Lipa Mdogo Mdogo goes for Ksh 18,000, but you need first to make a Ksh 3,000 deposit.

Safaricom, however, doesn’t disclose on their website the daily payments and the timeframe for repaying for these two best Tecno phones.

Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phones

How Do You Pay for Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phones in Kenya?

You can pay for your Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phone by dialing *544# and then selecting Lipa na MPESA. You then need to choose how to make payments (daily, weekly, part payments, or daily).

What Are the Advantages of Lipa Mdogo Mdogo?

Lipa Mdogo Mdogo comes with several benefits that make the program attractive to low-income Kenyan earners. They include:

  • Opportunity to own a smartphone and pay for it in installments
  • The freedom to pay daily, weekly or monthly
  • 1GB free bundles at the time of purchase
  • 100MB free YouTube internet after successfully making consecutive payments for at least seven days
  • One-year warranty
  • 4G-enabled app-packed smartphone

Don’t get me wrong, however. I don’t mean that Lipa Mdogo Mdogo doesn’t have disadvantages. For example, the penalties for overdue payments can be unforgiving, and the program may not be cost-effective.

Those are the two key issues that I’ll explain in the subsequent two sections.   

Are Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phones Cost-Effective?

Take Lipa Mdogo Mdogo as a Hire Purchase plan. As we learned in school, Hire Purchase products may seem affordable initially, but you end up paying more in the long term.

That’s what happens with Lipa Mdogo Mdogo.

If you consider a Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phone like Neon Ray Pro, for example, the phone’s full cost is Ksh 6,500. But if you search on Jumia today, you are likely to find this phone for Ksh 4,499-Ksh 4,999.

The same goes for the other phones. While it cost Ksh 18,000 to buy a Tecno Spark under the Lipa Mdogo Mdogo plan, the phone retails at Ksh 12,499-Ksh 14,996 on Jumia.

On the other hand, the Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Camon 17 cost Ksh 27,000, while the same phone retails at Ksh 19,999-Ksh 20,599 on Jumia.

So, the bottom line is that Lipa Mdogo Mdogo may seem cost-effective initially, but it’s not in the long term. But if you cannot afford to buy the phone outright, Lipa Mdogo Mdogo is worth considering.

Generally, it doesn’t make sense to pay Ksh 5K- Ksh 10K more after a year when you can afford to buy the phone right away for cheap.

PhoneLipa Mdogo Mdogo Full PriceFull Price on Jumia
Neon Ray ProKsh 6,500Ksh 4,499-Ksh 4,999
Tecno Spark 7Ksh 18,000Ksh 12,499-Ksh 14,996
Tecno Camon 17Ksh 27,000Ksh 19,999-Ksh 20,599

What If You Default to Pay Your Installments?

Safaricom usually reminds you through SMS about your pending installments if they are due. They then offer you a 7-day grace period to see if you can pay up.

Once the seven days expire, Safaricom locks the phone, which means you cannot make the calls or receive SMs. The only thing you can access is the MPESA widget and Safaricom customer care.

They then offer you up to 30 days to pay up so that they can unlock your phone. Once the 30 days pass and you haven’t paid, Safaricom forwards your details to the credit reference bureau, otherwise known as the CRB, for blacklisting.

When CRB blacklists you, you cannot get a loan from another lender. The other privileges you lose here include not accessing Okoa Jahazi and Okoa data.

Where Do You Collect Your Phone?

You can collect your Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phone from any Safaricom dealer or outlet. Once you confirm that you are eligible, you’ll need to provide a reference number of the deposit amount and your ID.

The deposits amounts are as follows:

  • Neon Ray Pro – Ksh 500
  • Spark 7 – Ksh 3,000
  • Camon 17- Ksh 5,000
Lipa Pole Pole phones

People Also Ask

1. Which Phones Are Available On Lipa Mdogo Mdogo?

You can check for available Lipa Pole Pole phones by dialing *544#5 and following the subsequent steps. At the moment, the following phones are available on Lipa Mdogo Mdogo:

  • Neon Ray Pro
  • Tecno Spark 7
  • Tecno Camon 17

2. How Can I Qualify for Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo?

You can check your eligibility for Lipa Mdogo by dialing *544# on your phone and then accepting the terms and conditions. Once you do that, you’ll receive a confirmation message from Safaricom confirming your eligibility or ineligibility.

3. Does Jumia Have Lipa Mdogo Mdogo?

Jumia does not have Lipa Mdogo Mdogo as Lipa Mdogo Mdogo is a Safaricom (plus Google) product. However, they have the ‘Pay Later’ option on the JumiaPay app that allows you to buy and pay later.

4. Does MPESA Reverse Wrong Payments?

Sadly, the MPESA reversal benefit is not available on Lipa Mdogo Mdogo. So, you have to call customer support in case of wrong payment, and they’ll advise you accordingly.

5. What Happens If My Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phone Gets Stolen?

Safaricom advises you to report (I presume to them and the police) when a Lipa Mdogo Mdogo phone gets stolen or lost.

 Note, however, that it doesn’t exempt you from the payments. You must pay all your payments for the entire duration of the phone’s financing.

6. Can I Purchase a Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phone for Another Person?

Safaricom doesn’t forbid you from purchasing a phone for another person under Lipa Mdogo Mdogo. However, the payment responsibility falls on the mobile line holder. It’s your registered number that will be responsible for making the payments.

7. Can I Pay for Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Using Fuliza?

Unfortunately, Safaricom doesn’t allow you to pay for Lipa Mdogo Mdogo using Fuliza. You must deposit money or receive it on your phone to make the payments.

8. How Do I Check My Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Balance?

You can check your Lipa Mdogo Mdogo loan balance by dialing *544#, choosing Lipa na MPESA, and then following the steps that follow.

9. Does A Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phone Come with Warranty?

All Safaricom Lipa Mdogo Mdogo come with a one-year warranty, just like most phones. You can read the applicable terms and conditions. Safaricom insists that all its phones are subject to the producer’s warranty.

Closing Remarks On Lipa Mdogo Mdogo Phones in Kenya:

For those who cannot afford a smartphone, Lipa Mdogo Mdogo is a haven. It’s essential, however, to consider the terms of the financing beforehand so that you can understand the risks. Hopefully, this guide will help you address that!