If you can’t beat them, then join them and make the world a better place. Our friends at the Orange Kenya seem to have seen the light and have partnered with Pesapal to enable virtual airtime top ups. From that you can now buy Orange Kenya airtime using Mpesa. Pesapal basically provides mobile payment services which include Mpesa, Airtel Money and others .
Through the service, customers will be able to make an online purchase of Orange airtime; choosing a preferred mode of payment – either via PesaPal’s e-wallet, credit and debit cards (VISA and Master Card) or through mobile money transfer solutions.
YU Mobile sometime last year asked Safaricom to open up its Mpesa platform to other Mobile money providers but they declined but this could be a back channel through which the likes of Yu will get their wish. Orange took the first step and you can tell from the following statement from the Orange CEO Mickael Ghossein
“Our data customers that may have subscribed to other networks due to their voice offerings will now have the flexibility of purchasing data bundles directly from their mobile money accounts,” he said, adding that this was informed by the fact that Kenya’s mobile telecoms market is characterised by multi-SIM users, with subscribers using different SIM cards from various networks for different services such as voice and data
On the Pesapal side, this is a huge step forward for them. PesaPal CEO Agosta Liko said that Orange and PesaPal have a strategic partnership on the technical solution and distribution modes for Orange Airtime.
“The service is easy to use allowing the customer convenient access as well as a simplified means of toping
At this point it is already a well established fact that Kenyans are willing to pay for things using mobile money. But the mobile money providers have been reluctant to partner or open up their systems to developers. We have shouted about MPESA API for years. But recently Safaricom started to make some telling partnerships, like that with Western Union and Mshwari. They all point to the fact that there is market pressure for Safaricom to further innovate or allow others to connect to their system.
Orange Kenya Pesapal deal I think has come at the right time. The online payments deal is also intended to extend to the payment of other product and service offerings from Orange.