How to Buy Airtime using Mula *369# USSD

Buying airtime using Mula's android app is convenient and quite straightforward. However, there are situations where you may not be able access internet in which case you can't use the app to buy airtime. Also there's is the possibility that you're not using an android device in which case likewise, you can't use the app. Fortunately, Mula provides a USSD service that should take care of this kind of scenarios.

Remember as I pointed out in the review using Mula to buy airtime is free for all amounts and you can buy airtime across all networks (Safaricom, Airtel & Telkom). The only payment option that is currently available on USSD is M-PESA, though plans are underway to roll out Airtel Money and T-Kash into the service.

Let's see how we can use it to buy airtime for our own numbers or those of others.



1. For Your Own Number

buy airtime mula ussd
Buying Airtime using *369#

Let's start with buying airtime for the number you'll be dialling with. This currently only applies to Airtel and Safaricom numbers. For Telkom you'll have to use the slightly longer route explained in the next section. In this example, I'll be buying Airtel airtime using M-PESA.

STEPS

1. Dial the following code: *369*amount#. Replace amount with the amount of airtime you wish to buy. For instance, if you want to buy Ksh.20 airtimes, just dial *369*20#.
code
Dial Code and Amount

2. You'll be prompted to select the payment option to use. Select M-PESA which is what is currently available.
select m-pesa
Select M-PESA

3. Next you'll be prompted to enter the Safaricom number whose M-PESA you'll be buying the airtime with.
number
Number to pay with

4. You will then receive this notification alerting you that the request has been sent.
request sent
Request Sent

5. On your phone with the Safaricom number you should almost immediately get a prompt from Sim Toolkit/Application requesting you to validate the payment. Enter your M-PESA PIN to authorize the payment.
m-pesa pin
Enter your PIN

4. Now wait a couple of seconds and you should get an SMS from M-PESA confirming the transaction.
mpesa sms
M-PESA Transaction SMS

5. This will be followed by a top-up SMS (from Chapchap on Airtel) on the line you've bought the airtime for.
top up sms
Top up SMS from ChapChap

6. The last SMS comes from Mula confirming the successful top up.



2. For Your Own Number or Other Numbers (All Networks)

Recall that Mula is not just for buying airtime but also paying bills. Therefore, this is the slightly longer route which starts from the main menu that provides other payment options in addition to buying airtime. As with the previous method, this will work on all networks including Telkom which doesn't seem to allow the direct USSD code of the previous method. For this example, I'll be buying Telkom airtime using M-PESA.

STEPS

1. Dial *369# on our phone.

2. Enter 2 to select the Buy Airtime option.
buy airtime
Select Buy Airtime

3. Enter 1 if it's your own number (the one you're dialling with) after which you'll carry on with the same steps outlined in the previous section. For a different number enter 3 to provide Mula with the number to buy airtime for.
enter number manually
Enter Number Manually

4. Select the mobile network belonging to the recipient's number.
select network
Select Recipient's Network

5. Next enter the recipient's number that matches with the selected network.

6. Enter the amount of airtime to buy.

7. Select the Payment Option to use. Enter 1 for M-PESA (this will use the Safaricom number you've dialled with or the one already linked to your Mula account). To use a different M-PESA number select Edit then provide that number.
select m-pesa
Select M-PESA

8. You will get this notification alerting you that the request has been sent.
checkout prompt
Checkout Prompt

9. On your phone with the Safaricom number you should almost immediately get a prompt from Sim Toolkit/Application requesting you to validate the payment. Enter your M-PESA PIN to authorize the payment.
enter pin
Enter PIN

10. Wait a couple of seconds and you should get an SMS from M-PESA confirming the transaction.

11. This will be followed by a top-up SMS (from e-jaze on Telkom) on the line you've bought the airtime for.
e-jaze sms
e-jaze SMS

12. The last SMS comes from Mula confirming the successful top up.

So that wraps it on how to buy airtime using Mula's *369# USSD service. As you can tell, using USSD is not as quick as buying airtime with the Mula app which takes care of most of the prompts you're asked here. Still it gets the worked done but if you're not convinced and can't still use the app, you've the third option of buying airtime from the Mula website which provides an experience closer to that that of the app.


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