Mobile Money Review: Airtel Money

Airtel Money Keny

Airtel Money is a mobile money service offered by Airtel Kenya that allows customers to withdraw money, pay their bills, and perform other banking services with their mobile phones.

It is also one of the few mobile money operators in Kenya.

This article covers the services offered by Airtel money, how to use these services, and how to apply for them.

History of Airtel Money

Airtel Kenya, a subsidiary of Airtel Africa, is one of the leading telecommunication companies in Kenya.

Airtel Kenya’s network has over 16.2 million subscribers and it covers about 86% of Kenya’s population.

Airtel Kenya has undergone different name changes over the years due to changes in the company’s ownership.

In 2000, it launched as Kencell. Its name was changed to Celtel and after another company takeover, Zain.

In November 20120, it was bought by Bharti Zain Africa, an Indian firm, for $10.7 billion. It underwent another name change from Zain to Airtel.

In 2011, Airtel Kenya launched its mobile money service, Airtel Money.

Airtel Money’s main competitor is Safaricom PLC, which has a larger mobile money market share in Kenya.  

In 2018, Airtel Kenya considered a merger with Telkom Kenya to strengthen its position against Safaricom, but it later backed out of the discussions.

In 2021, Airtel Money partnered with World Remit to allow its customers receive money for free from over 129 countries in the world.

In 200, Airtel Africa sold 25.77% of its Airtel Money business to four institutional investors for $550 million (Sh64.2 billion).

As a result of the deal, Airtel Money is currently valued at Sh250 billion ($2,122,515,000.00).

How to register for Airtel Money

  • Visit any Airtel Money agent or Airtel shop.
  • Fill out a customer registration form
  • Submit an original copy of any valid means of identification (Kenyan national ID, passport, military ID, or alien ID)

How to activate Airtel Money

After receiving an SMS from Airtel confirming that your registration was successful, dial *222# to activate your Airtel Money account.

You will be asked to set your Airtel Money PIN and a security question.

Airtel Money’s products and services

After opening and activating an Airtel Money account, you can:

  • Manage your airtel account
  • Withdraw money from ATMs and cash merchants
  • Send and receive money from other mobile money users
  • Buy airtime and receive a bonus from Airtel
  • Pay your utility bills
  • Pay for goods and services from authorised merchants

How to deposit money into your Airtel Money account

  • Visit any Airtel Money agent with an original copy of any valid means of identification (Kenyan national ID, passport, military ID, or Alien ID)
  • Inform the agent of the amount you want to deposit
  • Give the agent the money you want to deposit in your account
  • You will receive an SMS notification from Airtel Money confirming that the agent has transferred the money to your account

How to check your Airtel Money balance

  • Open the My Airtel app. You can download the app from the Playstore or Appstore
  • Select Airtel money
  • Select My Account
  • Select Balance
  • Input your PIN

OR

  • Dial *222#
  • Select My Account
  • Select Check Balance
  • Input PIN

How to send money from your Airtel Money account

  • Dial *222#
  • Select Send Money
  • Select the network of the recipient
  • Input the recipient’s phone number
  • Input the amount you want to transfer
  • Input your Airtel Money PIN

How to send money from Airtel Money to MPesa

Airtel Money users can send a maximum of Ksh 70,000 ($594.30) per transaction and a maximum of Ksh. 140,000 ($1,188.61) daily to other mobile wallet users.

  • Dial *222#
  • Select Send Money
  • Select Send to M-Pesa
  • Input the recipient’s(safaricom) mobile number
  • Input the amount you want to send
  • Confirm the transaction details
  • Input your PIN and  press OK

How to reverse an Airtel Money transaction

You can call 1522 and request for reversal OR

  • Dial *222#
  • Select My Account
  • Select Reverse transaction
  • Select Initiate transaction reversal
  • Select last transaction sent for immediate transactions or other transaction sent for older transactions
  • Select option 1 to initiate the transaction (for immediate transactions) or enter the Airtel Money transaction id (for older transactions)
  • Input your PIN to complete the transaction (the wrong recipient will receive a pop-up message to approve the reversal)

How to transfer money from your bank account to Airtel Money

You must be a registered mobile or internet banking user with your bank. You can view the mobile codes for some banks here:

National Bank of Kenya - *625#

Family Bank - *325#

ABSA Bank Kenya - *224#

NCBA Bank Kenya - *488#

Diamond Trust Bank - *382#

I&M Bank - *458#

KWFT - *859#

Bank of Africa - *987#

How to withdraw money from Airtel Money account

  • Visit any Airtel Money agent with an original copy of any valid means of identification (Kenyan national ID, passport, military ID, or Alien ID)
  • Confirm if the agent has the amount you want to withdraw
  • Dial *222# on your mobile phone or go to your Airtel menu
  • Select Withdraw Money
  • Input the agent’s code
  • Input your PIN

How to buy airtime from your Airtel Money account

  • Dial *222# or go to your Airtel menu
  • Select Airtel Money
  • Select Buy Airtime
  • Select My Phone (if you are buying airtime for yourself) or Other Phone (if you are buying for another airtel number).
  • Input the airtime amount you want to buy and confirm the transaction
  • Input your PIN and select OK

How to pay for goods and services with Airtel Mobile money

You can use Airtel Money to pay for goods and services at authorised Lipa na M-Pesa and Airtel till merchants.

How to pay for goods at any Lipa na M-PESA buy goods till

  • Open the My Airtel app. You can download the app from the Playstore or Appstore
  • Select Buy Goods
  • Select M-PESA Till

OR

  • Dial *222#
  • Select Lipa na M-Pesa, Equity & Airtel
  • Select M-Pesa till.
  • Input the M-Pesa till number shown by the agent
  • Input the amount
  • Input your Airtel Money PIN

How to pay for goods at any Airtel Money buy goods till

You can pay for goods and services at authorised Airtel money till merchants.

  • Visit any Airtel money till merchant
  • Dial *222#
  • Select Lipa na -M-Pesa, Equity, Airtel
  • Select Airtel Money Till
  • Input the merchant’s till number
  • Input the amount
  • Input youR PIN

How to pay bills with Airtel Money

  • Dial *222#
  • Select Lipa na - M-Pesa, Equity & Airtel
  • Select option 4 (Airtel Paybill)
  • Choose the bill type you want to pay for (electricity, water, TV services, etc.)

Businesses can apply for Airtel’s pay bill by submitting the required documents and application form.

Airtel Money loans and savings products

Airtel Money offers loans and savings products to Airtel Money customers in the form of Kopa cash and M-Fanisi.

Kopa cash

This is a short-term unsecured loan available to Airtel Mobile customers.

You can borrow a minimum of Ksh 350 ($2.97) and a maximum of Ksh 30,000 ($254.70) for 7-30 days.

Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years
  • You must a registered Airtel subscriber for at least 90 days
  • You must have a registered Airtel Money account
  • You must be an active Airtel and Airtel Money account user

How to apply for Airtel Money (Kopa cash) loans

  • Dial *222#
  • Select loans and savings
  • Select Kopa cash
  • Input your Airtel Money PIN
  • Follow the prompts on your screen

Kopa loan interest fees

The interest fees depend on the duration of the loan.

  • 6.00% - 7.50% for 7 day loans
  • 6.50% - 8.50% for 14 day loans
  • 7.00% - 9.50% for 30 day loans

M-Fanisi

M-Fanisi is a savings bank account available to Airtel Money registered customers.

M-Fanisi account owners can open a savings account and earn interest of 7 % p.a or open a fixed deposit account for 1-12 months and earn up to 11.25% p.a.  

M-Fanisi account owners also have access to short-term loans.

How To register for M-Fanisi

  • Dial *222#
  • Accept the terms and conditions.
  • Activate your account by following the prompts on your screen

Frequently asked questions

How to close your Airtel Mobile money account

You can close your Airtel Money account by writing a request to Airtel Networks Kenya Limited, P.O. Box 73146 -00200 City Square, Nairobi or Airtel Money Operations, Parkside Towers, Mombasa Road.

Your Airtel Money balance must be zero for your request to be granted.

What is Airtel Money website

You can visit Airtel Money’s website here.  

You can also visit Airtel Kenya’s Meta(Facebook), Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages.

What is Airtel Money customer care number

Simply dial 100 from your mobile phone or 0733-100-100 from any other network.

You can also fill out the form on its website here.

How much does Airtel Money charge for transactions

You can view Airtel Money’s charges and transaction limits here

How to send money from MPesa to Airtel Money

  • Dial *334#
  • Select Send Money
  • Select Send to other Network
  • Input the Airtel mobile number
  • Input the amount you want to send
  • Input your M-PESA PIN

Can I receive money from other countries with Airtel Money

Yes, you can.

You can learn more about Airtel’s international money transfer partners and charges here

Conclusion

Airtel Money is a leading mobile money operator in Kenya.

Although it is not as popular as Safaricom, it is easy to register for Airtel Money and enjoy its savings, loans, and other mobile banking services.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airtel_Kenya

https://techmoran.com/2014/04/28/the-evolution-growth-of-airtel-in-kenya/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kenya-bharti-airtel-idUSKBN1HH0UR

https://techcabal.com/2021/09/22/airtel-kenya-partners-with-worldremit/

https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/corporate/companies/airtel-sells-mobile-cash-unit-stake-for-sh64-2bn-3843940