Tingg (formerly Mula) is a payment gateway that not only makes it easy to pay and manage bills, but also buy airtime.
Through the Tingg Android app, users can buy airtime for all the major mobile networks in Kenya that include Airtel, Telkom, Safaricom and JTL (Faiba) with zero transaction charges.
The available payment options include M-PESA, Airtel Money, Equitel and cards.
While the app is quite convenient to use, it goes without saying that its limited to users with smartphones and internet access. Users with neither of these can however buy airtime through Tingg’s *369# USSD or web portal.
Steps to Buy Airtime uisng the Tingg Android App
- Install the Tingg app from the Playstore.
- Go through the initial set up of the app and verify your phone number.
- On the main page of the app select the Airtime option.
- Select the option select My Number if it’s your own number (the one you activated Tingg with) that you want to buy the airtime for. Otherwise, select Other Number and enter the phone number or select from your contacts after giving the app the permission.
- Next enter the amount of airtime you want to purchase then press the NEXT button.
- Select the payment option to use. You can use M-PESA, Airtel Money, Equitel or your MasterCard/Visa card. For the purpose of this tutorial I’ll be using M-PESA.
- If you want to pay using a different number instead of the one you’ve linked Tingg, toggle the Pay with another number option then enter the phone number.
- Once you’re done tap on the Pay button. Make sure your internet connection is enabled before doing this.
- You’ll then get a USSD prompt to input your M-PESA PIN on the phone you’re paying with.
- After paying, you’ll be switched back to the app’s where you’ll find the transaction receipt with a pending status.
- In a couple of seconds, the transaction will go through, and you’ll be notified whether the transaction was successful. You should also receive your usual M-PESA/Mobile Money transaction SMS.
- At this point you should receive your airtime which will be confirmed in an SMS from your mobile network provider.
- Back on the app, the status of the receipt will indicate the transaction was successful.
If you happen not to get your airtime after making the payment successfully, make sure to contact Tingg’s customer care for assistance.
The app has gone through some changes since this article was first published in 2018, the biggest of which was the name change from Mula to Tingg.
The change was however almost entirely cosmetic, as the core of the service remains that of a payment gateway.
Nevertheless, some changes are inevitable and as far as user experience is concerned, very much prefer the early iterations of the app. The latest version I’ve tested is somewhat laggy and crashes on my device on selecting certain options.
This could however be a problem with my device and not necessarily the app itself.
Regardless, over the years I’ve come to favour the *369# USSD route, which I find more convenient for my uses. I would recommend trying it should you encounter any issues with the app, which seems to be the case if we’re to go by the app’s reviews in the Google Play Store.