What is the Future of Airtime Billing

Cellulant was built on airtime billing, back in the days of downloading tunes after sending a premium SMS with a code representing a song.
Now they focus mostly on bill payments with Mpesa as the foundation.

Airtime billing has been around even with the Nokia store as far back as in the Symbian days, with Airtel. Sometime back Microsoft worked with Safaricom to enable airtime billing for app purchases, and that was the first time I ever purchased an app from the stores, it was a podcasts app.

We naturally expected that Google would follow suit quite fast. That didn’t happen. The main drive for airtime billing is to include those who didn’t have credit cards to make online payments. That’s like 95 percent of Kenyans. At least back then.

Fast forward to 2017 and airtime billing is not a thing. What we have instead are APIs by Safaricom as the one method that’s sure to get many covered. Debit and credit cards are still a long way from becoming mainstream, even with the introduction of prepay cards, some not connected to any bank account.
Are we going to see that end now that Safaricom as the leader in mobile money fine tunes their APIs, and naturally, other players coming up with rival solutions?


That article on carrier billing was posted way back in 2014 does it work now with windows phone and i think airtel money card was a good option to compete Safaricom in store purchases but unfortunately it doesn’t work with windows and apple store

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That’s an old story yes, and I posted that on mobile, less flexibility.

Now, onto Windows phone, I can barely speak. I haven’t seen, leave alone use a Windows Phone in quite a while. My focus on the post is that airtime billing looked like the save all in the recent past, but we are seeing new solutions emerge that will still work for the mass markets.


I think the future is with such APIs coz they prove to be much more flexible
Going back to Windows, i still use a Windows phone :sunglasses:, though on Windows 10 Mobile. The Windows Store app on mobile is the same as the one on PC and shows similar content, well to some extent.

Now as a user, when i search for content that I wanna buy, i wouldn’t want to start looking for where my wallet it so that i can use my card to buy music n even apps. It’s a whole process altogether, one that I know even App Store and Play Store users would want to see being made easier with the convenience that mpesa offers

i think Airtime billing is the most lucrative way for Google and its android developers to monetize kenyans who interact with apps,from in-app purchases to one time app purchases and subscriptions.Unfortunately i believe the reason why it has never been applied on Google play is Google and Safaricom were unable to agree on revenue sharing,safaricom makes money from airtime purchases so for them,its rather unfathomable that they will split that revenue with Google irregardless of what airtime is used for.

Sincerely speaking, if we are referring to airtime billing for app purchases and such, I don’t see it happening. Lipe na M-Pesa on Google Play Store is more likely to happen than the former.

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There’s this time a while back maybe 2yrs ago i cud buy car packages in asphalt airborne on windows phone using credit i guess then credit payment/billing worked nowadays i cant