CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

Kenya: Orange Launches Online Airtime Top Up With Pesapal

Orange has partnered with PesaPal - an e-commerce payment platform provider - to enable its customers enjoy the convenience of virtual airtime top ups. 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.

Company CEO Mickael Ghossein said that Orange is taking a differentiated approach on airtime top-up; supplementing the conventional airtime distribution channels with the convenience and benefits of online payments and electronic airtime distribution.

"The service aims to grow our airtime distribution by leveraging on existing e-commerce platforms," said Ghossein, adding that the new top-up service aims to facilitate Orange data customers, who have their voice lines with alternative operators, to top up directly from their respective mobile money accounts.

"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.

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 up their airtime," he said. A customer can make the online airtime purchase through three sites: https://myaccount.orange.co.ke; www.orange.co.ke and https://www.pesapal.com;

"A step-by-step guide is available for each payment mode selected," noted Liko, adding that the customer will receive an SMS notification confirming the top up.

The online payments deal is also intended to extend to the payment of other product and service offerings from Orange. The Orange/PesaPal deal is further testimony to the crucial role mobile money solutions play in enhancing business transactions, as stated by the Communications Commission of Kenya, Fourth Quarter Industry statistics, released in October 2012, noting a 2.73 per cent growth in mobile money transfer service subscriptions, from 18.98 million recorded the previous quarter to 19.50 million.

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