Airtel, Umeme unveil Touchpay
VALUE ADDED SERVICES| July 23, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
By Omondi Julius Odera, Kampala, Uganda
Airtel has partnered with Umeme, Uganda's leading electricity distributor, to offer Ugandans an easier means of paying their electricity bills through the Airtel Money system. The mobile phone platform allows Umeme consumers registered with Airtel money to access their bank accounts and transfer funds to pay their electricity bills from the comfort of their homes or anywhere anytime.
The service dubbed ‘Umeme touch pay system’ is described as a first of its kind in the market today. To use it, customers should dial *100# in order to access the Umeme touch pay system.
The Airtel Money service also allows customers to pay utility bills, DSTV subscription fees, shop and pay with Airtel Money in designated shops, transfer money across mobile networks, and to undertake banking transactions including paying in-cash, and withdrawing cash from the bank and from the automated teller machines (ATM).
Umeme Chief Financial Officer Selestino Babungi explained that touch pay solutions would involve payments at banks, both over-the-counter and through ATMs, and payments by internet and phone banking.
"This means customers can pay bills at any hour of the day or night and avoid disconnection. Our focus is increasing customer convenience in all ways possible," Babungi said.
He also commended their partnering with Airtel, "This means customers can pay bills at any hour of the day or night and avoid disconnection. Our focus is increasing customer convenience in all ways possible"
Speaking at the launch, Somasekhar VG,Managing Director of Airtel Uganda, said: “We are proud to partner with Umeme in this innovation. It costs twice as much for Ugandans to travel back and forth, braving heavy queues while struggling to pay their Umeme bills. But today I am happy to declare that Ugandans will no longer hustle with bill payments and will be able to save up to 50% in expenses when they pay their umeme bills using the ‘Umeme touch pay system’ Airtel Money transfer service is instant simple and secure,” he added.
Airtel Uganda Public relations Officer explained, “The service will cost between UGX 200 to 2000 depending on how much money a client is sending” He also adds: “One will get an instant confirmation receipt after the transaction which he can always send to an e-mail to print for future reference”
Somasekhar also noted that Airtel seeks to deliver relevant and innovative mobile solutions to help customers overcome the daily challenges of handing large sums which may attract unwanted attention, as well as save customers the trouble of wasting time in long queues to transfer cash “you no longer have to carry money – all you need is your Airtel mobile telephone” he said.
“Our goal as a company is to make communications, banking, payments, retail and infotainment affordable and accessible to all in Uganda,”. With access to over 5015 locations to the banked and unbanked, Ugandans and Small businesses have benefitted from Airtel Money services which has provided tremendous growth.” Somasekhar emphasized.
Airtel Uganda Mobile Money service that was launched early this year has registered a steady growth with over one million clients out of the four million Airtel subscribers. Its agent network is also growing with over 7000 country wide.
MORE VALUE ADDED SERVICES NEWS
Airtel, Tigo launch cross-network money transfer service in TanzaniaBharti Airtel has announced the introduction of a service that will allow customers send and receive between Airtel’s mobile money service and that of Tigo in Tanzania. Read More
Airtel, VeriFone Mobile Money speed up merchant enablementBharti Airtel and VeriFone Mobile Money have reached an agreement to offer VeriFone Mobile Money’s merchant enablement applications for mobile Tap n Pay across Airtel’s 17 operating countries in Africa. Read More
Safaricom cuts fees on low and medium value M-PESA transfersSafaricom has announced a targeted reduction of transaction fees levied by the operator on its most popular person to person M-PESA transaction bands. Read More
Stakeholders meet over Ghana mobile moneyStakeholders from Ghana’s financial and telecoms industry have held talks at an MTN Stakeholders Forum in Accra to discuss the way forward in the quest to make Ghana a cashless society. Read More
Village saving associations get mobile money productAirtel Uganda, Grameen Foundation and Plan Uganda have introduced a new Group Savings product for Village Savings and Loan Associations. Read More
Nigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports. Read More
Onfon, Safaricom launch Name TunesOnfon Media, a leading Value Added Telecoms service provider, has partnered with leading integrated telecommunications service provider Safaricom to launch a new service called Name Tunes on the Skiza Platform. Read More
GCB Bank Ghana to go live with mobile commerce platformgoSwiff has connected its 50th bank client, GCB Bank Ltd. in Ghana, to leverage mobile point of sale (mPOS) on goSwiff mobile commerce platform. Read More
MTN Ghana resolved to encourage effective cashless societyMTN has reiterated its resolve to encourage and ensure an effective cashless society through the introduction and promotion of its mobile money service. Read More
Safaricom, Virtual City launch FMCG efficiency solutionSafaricom Business has partnered with innovative mobility solutions developer Virtual City, to launch an application designed to enhance service efficiency for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.