On 9th June 2014, Qatar Airways announced a strategic partnership with Safaricom in order to launch a new service that now allows users to pay for tickets from Qatar Airways utilizing M-Pesa.
“The new payment solution has been introduced to give passengers a much more flexible payment method. Our passengers want to be able to book tickets 24/7 and instantly access our latest offers," stated Qatar Airways Country Manager Kenya, Sami Debbiche, in a press release. "So this solution is both user-friendly and gives passengers greater flexibility. Qatar Airways is committed to continually innovating and improving our products and services like this to enhance the travel experience for our passengers," he added.
- The new service offers greater flexibility for Qatar Airways' passengers who can now book tickets online or via the reservations office and make their payment with M-PESA.
- M-PESA will enables users with a national ID card or passport to make cash transactions using a mobile device.
- In order to pay, customers can go to the M-PESA Paybill option, enter Qatar Airways' Business number 816850 insert their booking reference number and the amount quoted, at time of booking.
- Upon receipt of payment, an SMS will be sent to the customer confirming the payment and the e-ticket will be sent to the customer by e-mail.
- The ticket may also be collected at Qatar Airways reservations or airport office.
"We are proud to be associated withQatar Airways - one of the world's leading airlines. Our goal is to remain relevant to market needs and this is the reason why M-PESA is constantly seeking strategic partnerships aimed at meeting our customers at their point of need,” commented Safaricom's GM for financial Services, Ms. Betty Mwangi-Thuo, in the same release. “M-PESA has in the last seven years grown exponentially by continuously innovating and is playing a pivotal role in promoting a cash lite culture in Kenya," she added.
M-PESA commands more than one third of all mobile money transactions in the world. Originally intended as a micro savings product, M-PESA was launched as a peer-to-peer money transfer service in 2007. Since then, the trend-setting service has grown and evolved to a financial services platform that includes payment services for both consumers and enterprise organisations through its PayBill and Lipa na M-PESA services.
It currently has a subscriber base of more than 18.1 million individual customers. The success of M-PESA is based on the ubiquity of the mobile phone over any other form of technology which has subsequently enabled mobile money to leap frog other forms of technology and indeed financial services providers.