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How to Borrow Emergency Airtime on Telkom Kenya

As it is with Safaricom’s Okoa Jahazi and Airtel’s Kopa Credo services, Telkom Kenya has their own airtime loan service by the name of PEWA. With the Pewa Emergency Airtime service you can borrow credit after you’ve run out of it or as its case sometimes, can’t find Telkom credit in the shops. You’ll then be required to payback this loan on your next topup, but this is paid with an interest.

As such, if it’s just a case of you not finding credit in the shops and you happen to use a mobile money service, you may want to consider buying airtime for free using Mula, T-kash or using M-PESA.

With that said, let’s see how borrowing the advance airtime works with Telkom’s Pewa.

Are your Eligibile for PEWA?

Before you access the service, you need to be eligible for it. The requirements are as follows:

  • An active Telkom subscriber for at least 2 months
  • Have spent/recharged at least Ksh.50 in the previous month.
  • A balance of not more than Ksh.20
Eligibility for PEWA

Option 1: Activate Pewa Services using USSD

If you meet those requirements you can access the service by dialling *133# on your Telkom line.

Telkom gives you the choice of three amounts that you can borrow. These includes Ksh.20, Ksh.50 and Ksh.100. Just like Okoa Jahazi, the availability of the amounts will depend on how much you spend on that line.

Borrowable Amounts

Option 2: Activate Pewa Services using MyTelkom App

You can also access PEWA services conveniently using My Telkom app for Android as shown below.

top up via pewa
Top up via PEWA

Just go to the Top Up using the bottom menu and below Top Up via PEWA select the amount you wish to borrow. Follow the prompts to complete the request.

What are the Charges?

Since this is practically a loan, you’ll be charged an interest on whatever amount you borrow. Back in the Orange days they never used to charge any interest on the airtime as long as you repaid the amount within 24 hours.

That ship has since sailed and now Telkom charges a 10% interest on the PEWA amount. So if you borrow Ksh.20 what you’ll actually get is Ksh.18. Ksh.50 will get you Ksh.45 while Ksh.100 gets you Ksh.90. This way the next time you top up they’ll deduct the exact amount borrowed and make their 10% profit.

How to Check PEWA Balance?

To check the balance of your borrowed credit, just dial the usual balance enquiry code: *131#. You can also check through SMS by sending 131 to 131.

Validity Period and Suspension

According to Telkom’s PEWA terms and conditions, the borrowed PEWA airtime is valid for 30 days. However, if you don’t repay the amount within 7 days, your PEWA eligibility will be suspended for 14 days.

On the other hand, if you don’t spend the whole borrowed airtime within the validity period, it will be rolled over into your normal airtime. But I take it that will happen only after you’ve repaid the debt.

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Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is the editor of Kenyan Fix, an informational blog that helps Kenyans with solutions to everyday questions on mobile networks, government services and banking.