MPesa is now airborne

October 22, 2009
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – Air travellers will now be able to book their tickets from their mobile phones and pay through Safaricom’s  money transfer service, M-Pesa

This follows the signing of an agreement between the listed telecoms firm and three local airlines – East African Safari Air, Air Kenya and Aircraft Leasing Services.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said that the initiative would enable the firm’s subscribers to obtain day-to-day services in an efficient, cost effective way and also help reduce the hustles travellers undergo to book their airlines.

“I want to  congratulate the airlines who are willing to go with us to see the benefits of this, to see what benefit can be offered to customers and even come to the airport and get services using your mobile phones,” he said. “It is just part of the services that we want to offer.”

To use the service, subscribers will be required to log on to www.safaricom .com from their mobile phones. They will then select their preferred flight, enter their names and mobile number upon which they will get a booking reference and instructions on how to pay through M-Pesa.

Once they make payments, they will receive a confirmation SMS with their booking details.

“You can even come to the airport with your mobile phone and show your confirmation number there and then you will get a ticket,” Mr Joseph said.

“This feature is really unique and I am very happy that we have done this.”

The launch comes at a time when Safaricom is widening the gap between it and the competition in the data market.

Pilots for this service began in July this year culminating in its launch. Safaricom has targeted to recruit over one million data subscribers in the next three months through such innovative services.

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