Buying airtime using Tingg’s android app is convenient and quite straightforward. However, there are situations where you may not be able to access internet, in which case you can’t use the app to buy airtime.
Also, there is the possibility that you’re using a basic feature phone which does not support modern apps.
Fortunately, Tingg provides a USSD service that is accessible on all phones, with or without internet.
And as I pointed out in the review, Tingg supports purchasing airtime for all the major networks including Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom and JTL (Faiba).
Using the service also doesn’t incur you any transactional charges from M-PESA as it’s the case when buying Airtel or Telkom airtime using some paybill numbers.
The main payment options available on USSD are M-PESA and Airtel Money. The availability of Equitel and T-kash seems to be unclear.
Let’s see how we can use it to buy airtime for our own numbers or those of others.
Buying Airtime for your Own Number
Let’s start with buying airtime for the number you’ll be dialling with. In this example, I’ll be buying Airtel airtime using M-PESA.
- 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 airtime, just dial *369*20#.
- You’ll be prompted to select the payment option to use. Select M-PESA or any other payment option that’s available to you.
- Next, you’ll be prompted to enter the Safaricom number whose M-PESA you’ll be buying the airtime with.
- You will then receive a notification alerting you that the request has been sent.
- You will then get a prompt from Sim Toolkit/Application requesting you to enter your M-PESA PIN to complete the payment.
- Now wait a couple of seconds, and you should get an SMS from M-PESA confirming the transaction.
- This will be followed by a top-up SMS on the line you’ve bought the airtime for. A final SMS from Tingg will be sent confirming a successful top up.
Buy Airtime for another Number
Recall that Tingg 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. For this example, I’ll be buying Telkom airtime using M-PESA.
- Dial *369# on our phone.
- Select the Buy Airtime option from the menu.
- Select the Enter a Number option.
- Choose the mobile network of the number.
- Next enter the number.
- Enter the amount of airtime to buy.
- Select the Payment option to use.
For M-PESA, the service defaults to the Safaricom number you’ve dialled with or the one already linked to your Tingg account. To use a different M-PESA number select Edit then provide that number.
- You will then get a notification alerting you that the request has been sent.
- On your phone, you’ll receive a prompt to enter your PIN to complete the payment.
- After paying and receiving the transaction SMS, you should receive your airtime as requested.
So that wraps it on how to buy airtime using the *369# USSD service. As you can tell, using USSD is not as quick as buying airtime with the app, which takes care of most of the prompts you’re asked here.
Nevertheless, it gets the worked done. On the other hand, you’ve a third option of buying airtime from the Tingg website which is as fast as the app, and a nice backup option if the other portals are inaccessible.
If you happen not to get your airtime after making a payment successfully, make sure to contact Tingg’s customer care for assistance.