How to Buy Airtel Kenya Credit using M-PESA

Did you know that its actually possible to buy Airtel credit using Safaricom’s M-PESA service? This is a lifesaver in situations where you don’t use Airtel Money or if you can’t find Airtel credit in the shops.

This service has been there for quite a long time and it’s provided by Pesapal’s  Paybill (Lipa na M-PSEA). Consequently, you will incur some transactional charges when buying credit this way however if you buy airtime below or equal to Ksh.100 you won’t be charged anything thanks to M-PESA Kadogo. If you need amounts higher than Ksh100 just do multiple transactions.

UPDATE (2019):

  • This service is no longer free. Safaricom has since revised the M-PESA charges for the airtime paybills and is now charging Ksh.2 for amounts equal to or below 100. 
  • To continue topping up your Telkom for free using M-PESA consider buying airtime using Tingg (formerly Mula). It attracts no transactional charges for all amounts.


1. Go to the M-PESA Menu on your Phone

2. Select the Lipa na M-PESA option then choose the first option Pay Bill

3. Select Enter business no. then enter 220220 and press OK when done

paybill no.
Enter Paybill Number

4. In the next menu select then enter your Airtel number and press OK when done e.g. 0733333333

phone number
Phone Number

5. Under Enter Amount enter the amount of credit you want to purchase e.g. 50 and press OK when done

6. Enter your M-PESA Pin

7. Confirm the transaction by pressing the OK button

Confirm Transaction

8. Confirm the transaction details again in the Hakikisha page. Should the details be wrong, enter any number or letter to cancel the transaction before the 25 seconds lapse.

9. Now just wait for the M-PESA transaction SMS on your Safaricom line to confirm the Pay Bill. As soon as it arrives you should also receive a top up SMS on your Airtel line from CHAPCHAP.

pesapal sms
Pesapal Transaction SMS

10. To confirm the top up dial *133# or *131# to check your balance.

11. Should the top up take too long to arrive, you can reach Airtel customer care by calling 100 and they should help you out.

Tired of buying airtime using Paybill numbers? Give the Mula app a try. It supports buying airtime across all networks using M-PESA, Airtel Money, Equitel, MasterCard/Visa e.t.c. with no charges for all amounts.


Kelvin Muriuki is a web content developer that's passionate about keeping the internet a useful place. He is the founder and editor of Kenyan Fix, an informational blog that writes on topics that are of interest to the everyday Kenyan.