Mula (now Tingg) is the new kid on the block and it promises to simplify the way you pay and manage your bills for the better. But don’t be mistaken, Mula is not just about paying your bills.
One of its biggest selling point is that you can use it to buy airtime for any of the three major networks (Airtel, Telkom and Safaricom) for any amount at the cheap price of free. This can be done using M-PESA, Airtel Money or MasterCard/Visa though there are plans to roll out other payment options such as T-Kash and bank accounts.
Now I know you’re wondering in how this is any different from using M-PESA paybill numbers to buy airtime for other networks. Well there are a couple differences but the most relevant one here is that Mula simplifies or rather automates much of that process on the app and website.
The second one, and probably the most attractive part of it all is that buying airtime with Mula doesn’t result in any transactional or service charges regardless of the amount. With M-PESA paybills you normally incur some transactional charges if you buy airtime for other networks for amounts above the 100 M-PESA Kadogo ceiling.
1. Get and install the Mula app from the Playstore. The app is only available for Android. If your phone uses something different or is not internet capable consider using either USSD or the website.
2. Go through the initial set up of the app and activate/verify your phone number. You can skip the profile part if you’re in a hurry or don’t intend to pay bills with Mula.
|Verify your Mobile Number|
3. On the main page of the app select the Airtime option from the bottom menu.
4. At the top select the network belonging to the number you wish to buy the airtime for. If it’s your own number (the one you’ve activated Mula with) select My Number otherwise select Other Number.
- If you choose Other Number, you can easily enter the recipient’s number by tapping on the contact icon to fill in the number automatically from your phone’s contacts.
- For Airtel numbers remember to specify if the number is on prepaid or postpaid.
5. Enter the amount to buy then press the NEXT button.
6. At the bottom select the payment option to use. You can use M-PESA, Airtel Money or MasterCard/Visa. For the purpose of this tutorial I’ll be using M-PESA which shouldn’t be that different with Airtel Money.
If you want to pay using a different number instead of the one you’ve linked Mula with, toggle the Pay with another number option then enter that number (obviously you should have access to this number as well).
7. Once you’re done hit the Pay button. Make sure your internet connection is enabled before doing this.
8. You should be immediately switched to the SIM Toolkit/Applications where you’ll be prompted to input your PIN. Provide your M-PESA Pin as you normally do.
9. You’ll be then switched back to the app transaction history where you’ll see the transaction receipt with a pending status.
In a couple of seconds, the transaction will go through and you’ll get the following confirmation on the app.
|Top Up Successful|
You’ll also receive your usual M-PESA/Mobile Money transaction SMS.
|M-PESA Transaction SMS|
Followed by the successful top-up SMS from ChapChap (Airtel) or e-jaze (Telkom) and another from Mula.
10. Back on the app, the status of the receipt will inidcate the transaction was successful.
|Transaction Histrory Page|
You can tap on the receipt to see the full receipt which looks like this:
Pretty neat if you ask me. Certainly a more elegant solution compared to buying airtime with paybills. It’s also good for the enviroment if we factor in the use of disposable scratch cards.