More ways to buy airtime through WhatsApp thanks to MTN and Ozow


In 2019 MTN debuted the ability for its customers to buy airtime directly through popular chat app WhatsApp. The feature was the first of its kind in South Africa, and now the mobile operator is launching the ability to buy airtime and data bundles through EFT. 

Called MTN Chat, some users may recognise the portal on their WhatsApp chat history. Now the portal built by Clickatell has announced its integration with another local fintech company called Ozow to offer electronic bank transfers through the Facebook-owned messaging app. 

MTN Chat’s levelled up

“Giving customers the ability to transact seamlessly on WhatsApp is a gamechanger in South Africa. It provides a seamless way to stay connected, in touch and in tune, while being simple and secure. Most importantly it will help improve financial and digital inclusion and enhance access for consumers,” says Jacqui O’Sullivan, corporate affairs executive at MTN South Africa, according to Forbes South Africa

“We are excited about partnering with MTN to make it even easier for customers to be able to safely purchase airtime and data directly from the WhatsApp chat on the spot, anywhere and at any time,” says Thomas Pays, co-founder and CEO of Ozow. 

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean customers will be able to send money to other users through WhatsApp, like the functionality seen in India and Brazil. The newly announced integration will only allow MTN customers the ability to buy airtime and data bundles using EFT or their card details, instead of relying on an airtime balance

We would love to see an actual payment gateway in messaging apps in the near future — as this would open many opportunities for users and small businesses to make or take payments on an accessible platform.

Source: Forbes South Africa


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Digital Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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