Without a doubt, WhatsApp is currently the most popular chat application on the planet. This is also the case in Zimbabwe as just about everyone you know is available on WhatsApp.
What if we told you that WhatsApp has become much more than a platform for social interaction and a bit of business via groups. It has grown into a fully-fledged transactional platform too.
Just like with Facebook apps a few years ago, WhatsApp has given developers the platform to create apps that use them as a backbone. One of the great innovations that have come out of this initiative is the ability to make airtime purchases on the platform.
Zimbabwe’s leading online bill payments platform now has a WhatsApp bot that allows people to purchase airtime without the need for going on the internet.
All you need for this service is a WhatsApp bundle and you are all set. To use it, save the number +263 864 4729 100 to your phone and access it through WhatsApp.
In the chat window type “start” and you will be guided through the process of buying your airtime. Once the steps are completed, you will get a popup on your Ecocash phone asking for your PIN.
Enter your PIN and the transaction is complete.
A quicker way is to use the long code which only requires one step. To do this, you type #airtime#recepient_number#amount#mobile_wallet_number. In practice, this would look something like #airtime#0719792310#50#0776803255.
Besides Ecocash, you can also use TeleCash or OneMoney to pay on this platform. The Services on the WhatsApp bot are not limited to buying airtime though.
Here is a full list of the services available on the bot:
Utility Bill Payments
You can pay your Zesa, Zinwa and City of Harare utility bills on the platform. You are also able to make payments for Bulawayo City Council, Ruwa Local Board, Victoria Falls Municipality, City of Masvingo, Nortown Town Council and Bindura Municipality utility bills.
Mobile Bundles Purchases
At the present moment, you can buy NetOne One Fusion and One-Fi bundles on the platform. Other mobile networks are yet to be added.
You can buy airtime for Econet, NetOne, Telecel as well as Africom on the platform.
You are able to make payments for Africom, TelOne ADSL, TelOne Blaze LTE, TelOne FTTH, NetOne One-Fi and uMAX
Phone Bill Payment
Payments for TelOne Voice, Africom, TelOne Blaze LTE, Telco VOIP as well as ZOL Phone can be made on the platform.
WiFi Hotspot Vouchers
WiFi Hotspot vouchers for AfrooDATA. Chillispot Wifi, TeelOne WiFi and Zolspot Wifi can also be purchased here.
Pay Tuition Fees
You are also able to make tuition fees payments for a number of tertiary institutions in Zimbabwe. These include Solusi University, Bulawayo Polytechnic, Catholic University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Open University, Nurses Council of Zimbabwe, Bindura University of Science Education, Esigodini Agricultural College, Harare Institute of Technology, Lupane State University, Reformed church University, Women’s University, ZEGU and Zimbabwe School of Mines.
The platform also allows you to top up your Total SmartCard as well as Zuva Fuel Card.
You are also able to make donations to some of your favourite platforms and causes too. The ones currently listed are Bustop TV, Champions of Life, Eagles Wings Albinism and Support Trust, Economic Justice for Women Project, I am for Bulawayo Fighting COVID 19 Trust, Island Hospice and Healthcare, Miracle Missions Trust, Nozizwe Mother of Nations Trust, Sprout Women Empowerment Trust, ZARDA, Cancer Association of Zimbabwe, Harare SPCA, Bally Vaughn Wild Life, The Heart Foundation of Zimbabwe and Christian Counselling Centre.