Airtel customers to enjoy zero charges on electricity bills payment


An Airtel Money kiosk operating at Westlands as pictured on March 22, 2023. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Customers paying electricity bills via Airtel Money will enjoy zero transaction charges for the next six months as Airtel looks to attract more users to its network.

Airtel Money, which is part of Airtel Kenya, announced the deal with Kenya Power on Thursday in an arrangement that will see customers save between Sh4 and Sh65 which is usually charged to purchase electricity tokens.

Anne-Kinuthia Otieno, the managing director at Airtel Money said the zero fees on transactions will benefit both the postpaid and prepaid Kenya Power customers.

“We are now glad to offer Kenyans this solution where they will enjoy zero transaction cost for the next six months when they make their electricity payments,” said Ms Otieno.

“The cost saving on the charge per transaction will enable customers to utilize their money for other purchases.”

Under the deal, Airtel customers will pay electricity bills by dialling the USSD code *334#. They will choose Airtel Paybill, then KPLC.

This marks the first time Airtel Money users will be buying tokens directly via the Airtel network as opposed to relying on the interoperability arrangement that was extended to them from Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

Airtel said without giving details that it plans to offer an “affordable cost” for buying electricity tokens after the lapse of the six-month window.

“This strategic partnership offers our valued customers a seamless payment channel, ensuring enhanced convenience and satisfaction,” said Joseph Siror, managing director at Kenya Power.

The offer for zero transactions for purchasing electricity adds to other permanent features that Airtel gives on its mobile money transfer service as it seeks to cut the dominance of Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

Airtel Money allows free transactions for customers sending money to other Airtel Money users.

It also gives 25 percent extra airtime or data purchased through Airtel Money and saves up to 40 percent on withdrawal charges at any Airtel Money agent.

Communication Authority of Kenya data for three months to December 2022 showed M-Pesa was commanding 96.8 percent of the 38.64 million mobile money subscriptions followed by Airtel Money with 3.1 percent and T-Kash with 0.1 percent.

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