- Daily Nation
With the rising cases of insecurity and lack of safe luggage-storage options for a few hours within Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) tech innovator, Charles Oduk, saw the need to create smart electronic lockers.
In an exclusive interview with Kenyans.co.ke, Oduk stated that 'Beba Beggie' is a kenyan innovation of electronic lockers that enable people to temporarily store their luggage as they go about their business in the CBD or on the outskirts of the city.
“Beba Beggie is a simple storage solution that offers security and convenience for people moving in busy areas such as towns, malls, swimming pools, and beaches,” Oduk stated.
During our visit to one of the Beba Beggie stations in Nairobi's Lavington, Oduk took us through how the smart lockers work. To access the lockers, we were required to have a smart mobile phone.
“The system is straightforward, once you get to the lockers you either choose the store option or the retrieve option. If you choose the store option, you will then be required to select the size of locker you want,” he stated.A display of store and retrieve options on the Beba Beggie lockersKenyans.co.ke
As our team is taken through, it is revealed to us that the sizes range from small to large, depending on the luggage size.
“After selecting the size, the system will ask you to input a valid M-Pesa number. This number will be used to validate your booking, and also bill you,” Oduk stated.
“Once you verify your phone number, the system will automatically identify the available lockers and it will automatically open for the customer to store his or her luggage,” he continued.
As one of our team members inserted and verified his phone number, a locker automatically popped open. In the demonstration, Oduk explained that the system asks clients to verify their phone numbers for security purposes.
“The system is designed in a way that you will be required to verify your number. If you input different numbers you will not be able to proceed,” he stated.
The tech innovator also took us through the retrieval process, which he states is equally simple.
“After you have gone about your business, you will come and follow the same process, only that this time you will pick retrieve. Once again, the system will ask you to insert your number,” he stated.
“Once you insert your number and press enter, a payment prompt will pop up on your mobile screen requiring you to insert your M-Pesa pin. After making the payment, your locker will automatically open for you to retrieve your bag,” Oduk demonstrated.A photo of Beba Beggie Innovator Charles OdukKenyans.co.ke
When asked about their billing system, the innovator revealed that his innovation utilizes a cumulative billing system. The system charges a standard fee of Ksh 60 for the first hour, and the rates lower with the subsequent hours.
“We apply the cumulative pricing. For the small size lockers, you will be charged Ksh 60 for the first hour then the rates reduce as the hours increase. Basically, the longer you store the cheaper it is,” he stated.
With Beba Beggie, there is no time limit in storing luggage. We further queried Oduk on the security of the lockers and he revealed that the system is built to prevent theft and intrusion by strangers.
“The product itself is metallic. It is rigid and very robust. Secondly, we have a three-step verification. You have to have your phone, your phone number, and your M-Pesa pin,” Oduk stated.
“The lockers are also put in secure locations where you will have to be frisked by the security manning the entrance together with our agents,” he added.
In protecting the private information of their clients, the system only requires the mobile number of an individual.
“We try to capture as little information as we can. Previously, systems would require your ID, email address but we realized that we were taking too much information. Therefore, we resolved to ask for phone numbers only,” Oduk stated.
Beba Beggie lockers are situated in several locations within Nairobi such as Reinsurance plaza and Africa’s talking in Lavington.
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