Yesterday I received a Facebook inbox from one of our readers who wanted to know how to buy Airtel Airtime via MPESA. I told him. Then I thought it might be a great idea to share the “How to buy Airtel Airtime via MPESA” in a blog post, but before we get there let me vent a little.
There was this evening that I badly needed Airtel Airtime. It was several minutes past 11 PM. Shops were closed. Town was far, and as every other normal Kenyan, I do not do Airtel Money. But I had money, lots of it, in my MPESA Account. Something whispered in my head and told me that Safaricom could not be very stupid to ignore a money making opportunity like allowing those stranded to buy Airtel Airtime via MPESA, after all they have customers whose sole reason for owning a Safaricom number is to use the MPESA product, so they should allow them use that product in every practical way.
I listened to the whisper and went straight to my MPESA Menu, chose buy Airtime to another number, and provided an Airtel number as the number to buy Airtime for. Instead of Safaricom sending the Airtime amount to my Airtel number, it sent me this annoying message;
Failed. M-PESA cannot authorise airtime purchase for the number provided. Please recheck the number and try again.
Then I told myself, wtf?, what would Safaricom have lost if they allowed me to buy Airtel Airtime via MPESA? After all, I will still buy the Airtel Airtime first thing in the morning, use it to make calls, and MPESA shall have missed out on an opportunity to make a few shillings in extra profits. And, why can’t they use the same logic used when allowing subscribers of other networks to call Safaricom numbers? The only cash they receive from such calls is the mobile termination fees that is only shs 1.44 per minute.
Anyhow, after a few minutes of frustrations I decided to Google and I arrived at PesaPal website, found out that PesaPal allows subscribers to buy Airtime across networks, and with a lot of doubts I decided to give them a try. Within seconds my Airtel line was recharged with Airtel Airtime and this is how you too can go about it:
- First, head to PesaPal website. It is Pesapal.com
- At the Menu bar around the top of the website, you will see the “Buy Airtime” menu item, click on it.
- Under this Menu there are sub menus named Orange Top-up, Airtel Top-up, Yu mobile Top-up and Safaricom Top-up. Click on Airtel Top-up.
- You will then find the procedure of buying Airtime using MPESA. There are also procedures of buying Airtime using Airtel Money and using Yu Cash. Follow the MPESA procedure as outlined below:
i. Go to the M-pesa Menu
ii. Select Pay Bill
iii. Enter Business No. 220220
iv. Enter Account No. AIRTXXXXXX (Where XXXXXX is your Airtel Mobile number)
v. Enter the Amount
vi. Enter your M-Pesa PIN then send
Within seconds, your Airtel number will receive airtime top up for a very small fee. I don’t remember the amount but it will be cheaper than traveling to town to search for a 24/7 shop late at night. This procedure is also very helpful if you find yourself at a place without Airtel shop. Actually I remember a day I walked all over Kasarani looking for someone who could sell me a shs 1000 Airtel Airtime and no one had that in stock, so yes, Pesapal’s PayBill option that allows you to buy Airtel Airtime via MPESA is quite useful and will come in handy when you least suspect it.
This article is also applicable for those searching for “How to buy Orange Airtime via MPESA”, and “How to buy Yu Airtime via MPESA”.