George Mawadri of British Airways and Bob Collymore of Safaricom

By Carole Kimutai, Nairobi, Kenya

Customers travelling on British Airways can now make payments for their tickets and ticket changes in Kenya through the mobile money platform (M-Pesa) thereby affording customers a quicker and more convenient way to make payments.

George Mawadri, British Airways Country Manager in Kenya, says the M-Pesa payment service was introduced to improve convenience for customers.

“We realise that most customers might not be able to complete their bookings online on ba.com or in the comfort of their homes or offices without a credit card. With M-Pesa, this is accomplished,” said Mawadri while making the announcement.

Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore hailed BA’s decision to use M-Pesa as yet another endorsement of the product which has won global accolades for its innovativeness.

“With today’s busy lifestyles, more and more people are demanding convenience and M-Pesa is able to offer this, which is the reason  it is increasingly becoming a widely accepted mode of payment. We are therefore happy to welcome BA into this growing family,” said Collymore.

Through M-Pesa, customers will be able to pay up to USD1,400 for their air tickets through pay bill number 380380.

“BA is regularly reviewing ways of improving interactions with our customers, and mobile payments is one of the ways we have established as relevant, user friendly and convenient for customers to make payments for travel on BA,” said Mawadri.

This latest development is part of BA’s brand repositioning campaign which is anchored on putting the customer first. Over the next five years, the airline plans to invest more than £5bn into new aircraft and new and refurbished cabins. Within the next six months, BA will welcome three more Boeing 777-300ERs which will all be equipped with the new First class cabin, the award-winning Club World, and brand new World Traveller Plus and World Traveller cabins. A little further into the future, BA will welcome its first A380s and the first Boeing Dreamliners.

How it works

A customer calls or goes online to purchase a ticket/make a change to their itinerary. The BA contact in the Kenya contact centre (CBA) advises the client on the amount payable for the change or ticket purchase (if amount is in USD/GBP or other currencies, the equivalent (BA rate) in KES for the day is quoted to the customer and they are advised that the rate is only for that day.

Should they opt to pay through M-Pesa, they are briefed on the following procedure:

  • The customer will go to their M-Pesa menu ensuring they have the correct amount required to cover the payment amount and to send the payment.
  • Go to the Paybill option on their M-Pesa menu > enter the BA business number 380380 when presented with the option for account number, they should then enter their PNR reference (This is the customers unique reference number for their reservation with BA) when asked for the amount they should enter the amount that was quoted to them by CBA in KSh. Once they confirm the transaction, this will be processed by Safaricom and once accepted, they will receive a confirmation reference from Safaricom.

CBA is notified of the customer’s payment instantaneously. This is processed and the customer booking is acted upon depending on the nature of their request, upon successful verification. Once the changes are made, the customer is informed of the same through email or by phone call.

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