Over 200,000 Nairobi residents who use metered water supplied by the Nairobi Water Company (NWC) can now pay for their bills through Safaricom’s money transfer service M-PESA.
This follows the signing of a partnership agreement between the telecommunication solutions provider Safaricom and NWC which gives their customers an effective and efficient way to settle their bills.
“In our constant quest to come up with innovative services that meet our customers’ and business partners’ requirements, we will continuously enter into strategic partnerships with key service providers such as NWC,” said Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph during the signing ceremony.
Until now, customers have been settling their bills at over 18 NWC outlets across Nairobi resulting in long queues especially at peak times.
Mr Joseph said the partnership mirrors past deals between M-PESA and utility companies like Kenya Power and Lighting Company that ease settlement of bills.
“We are excited about this partnership and the advantages it gives our customers. This is also in line with our strategy of increasing the utility of the mobile phone for our customers,” added the CEO.
M-PESA, which had over 9.4 million users as at March 31, has grown beyond its primary role of money transfer and has introduced value added services such as the PayBill and Bulk Payment functionalities.
More than 250 companies have already signed up for the PayBill service which enables several organisations to accept client payments through M-PESA.
On his part NWC Managing Director Francis Mugo said the partnership provides their customers with a fast, easy and convenient way to settle their water bills which would go a long way in enabling them to improve their service delivery.
“We are happy to be part of this money transfer revolution brought by M-PESA service. I take this opportunity to congratulate Safaricom for the M-PESA innovation as it is surely shaping our way of life,” Mr Mugo pointed out.
NB: Registered M-PESA customers will be required to select “Pay Bill” from the M-PESA menu; enter the NWC business number 444400 and full account number and then follow the instructions as guided by the menu to complete the transaction.
Upon payment, customers will receive a confirmation from M-PESA immediately and the account will be updated within 48 hours. To query one’s outstanding bill, a customer will need to send an SMS with full account number to the NWC short code 5571.
Source: Evelyn Njoroge, Capital Business, 26 April 2010