Remember the article Equitel USSD codes, top up, buy airtime from M-PESA, check balance, data bundles, phone number, SIM card, website that I wrote awhile ago?
Well, having written in many other articles about how it is easy to buy airtime from Equitel for networks like Safaricom, Telkom Kenya and Airtel Kenya, I thought I’d just write another post dedicated to how Equitel users can also benefit from other services like M-PESA – to buy airtime for their lines.
But first, I want to talk about:
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- why most Equitel users don’t see the need to buy airtime from M-PESA
- the kind of situations you might find yourself in that may force you to look at M-PESA as a great avenue to get airtime for your line (an alternative to the services you normally use).
Why most Equitel users don’t see the need to buy airtime from M-PESA
- If you have connected your Equity Kenya Bank account to your Equitel line, the money in it is probably more than the amount you have in M-PESA. I think this is true for most people who have Equity Bank accounts and are also holders of Equitel lines. A few scams here and there – people having their accounts emptied – might have scared some. But I still believe that the majority of Equitel subscribers (with Equity accounts) have more money in their Equitel mobile money wallet than they do M-PESA.
- They don’t know how. Until recently I didn’t know either. Then a little digging here and there and I came to the knowledge of how to buy Equitel airtime from M-PESA.
- They don’t see the need for it. If your Equity account has enough money in it, why bother with M-PESA?
- There are no charges associated with buying airtime for your Equitel line from your bank account unlike M-PESA. In one example (shown below) you will see how buying Kenya Shillings 200 airtime for your Equitel line from M-PESA actually ends up costing you another 23 Shillings. It might not seem like a big deal if you factor in convenience. But remember that buying airtime of such amount from your Equitel / Equity account will cost you nothing – no extra charges.
- It is faster buying airtime via the Equitel SIM toolkit menu than it is buying via M-PESA. If you want quick, if you like fast, if you want it now, if you can’t wait, buying it from M-PESA will take you a few extra steps of pressing / tapping different buttons. With Equitel, some of those few extra steps have been shaved off.
- They can just send money in bulk from their M-PESA to their Equitel line / account – and purchase airtime from there (their Equitel SIM toolkit menu or via the *247# USSD code).
When M-PESA can be a great alternative
- When your Equity account has little or no money. You can’t buy airtime from an account that has nothing in it. If your account is currently full of air – and there isn’t much to withdraw in the form of airtime, turning to M-PESA might be a really good idea.
- When Equitel systems are down or temporarily busy. Happens sometimes, even to M-PESA. When things are temporarily down on the Equity / Equitel side, you might consider crossing over to the other side to buy airtime for your line or other Equitel lines.
- When you want to break the habit of always buying airtime from your bank account. Did you know it takes more steps to buy airtime from M-PESA for your Equitel line than it does buying from your Equity account? I have read a few times about how some Kenyan professionals can’t seem to break the habit of buying airtime – taking even money they could have put aside as savings to buy data bundles, minutes and SMS bundles. May be this can help some of those people go easy on their spree.
- To feed your curiosity. If you have received the following texts ‘You have insufficient airtime to purchase the bundle. Buy Equitel Airtime via Mpesa. Go to Lipa Na Mpesa > Paybill 412222 > Equitel number.’ or ‘50% BONUS ON TOP UP! Top Up KSh. 100 or more today & enjoy 50% bonus. Bonus can be used to call / sms any network. #EquitelSpecial.’ you might want to try to purchase even Kenya Shillings 50 or 100 of airtime from M-PESA for your Equitel line.
How to buy Equitel airtime via M-PESA
To buy Equitel airtime from Safaricom M-PESA, follow the steps below:
- Go to your device’s main menu
- Find the Safaricom SIM toolkit icon
- Go to M-PESA
- Select Lipa na M-PESA
- Select Pay Bill. Enter 412222 as Business Number and press OK
- Enter your Equitel phone number in the Account no. field e.g. 0765123456 and press OK
- Enter amount e.g. 200 to buy KSh 200 airtime for your Equitel line and press OK
- Enter your M-PESA PIN and press OK
- ‘Pay Bill 412222 Account no. 0765123456 KSH 200’
- Press OK
‘Pay EQUITY AIRTIME PAY BILL KSH 200.00 for Account 765123456. To STOP this transaction, send any letter or number within 25 Seconds. Cost: KSH 23.00’
You will then receive a confirmation text from M-PESA confirming the success of the transaction.
Have something you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments section below.
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