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Qatar Airways, Safaricom partnership now allows for ticket payment via M-PESA

By Standard Digital Reporter | Published Fri, June 13th 2014 at 00:00, Updated June 13th 2014 at 12:38 GMT +3
Qatar Airways customers can now book tickets online or through the reservations office and make their payment through M-PESA. [PHOTO: COURTESY]

Nairobi, KENYA: Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar, has entered into a strategic partnership with one of the world’s leading mobile money service provider, Safaricom, to launch a service that now enables customers to pay for Qatar Airways tickets using M-PESA..

The new service offers greater flexibility for Qatar Airways’ passengers who can now book tickets online on or through the reservations office and make their payment through M-PESA.

Currently one of the most sophisticated mobile money payment systems in the world, M-PESA allows users with a national ID card or passport to make cash transactions using a mobile device.

In order to pay, customers should 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.

Qatar Airways Country Manager Kenya, Sami Debbiche, said that 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,” said Debbiche. “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.”

Award-winning Qatar Airways, named Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012 and runner-up for 2013 by industry audit Skytrax operates to an extensive African route network.

In keeping with its Middle Eastern heritage of hospitality with the highest standards, Qatar Airways offers an array of on-ground and in-flight luxuries to promote a truly unrivalled Five Star travel experience.

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.

Speaking about its partnership with Qatar Airways, Ms. Betty Mwangi-Thuo, Safaricom’s GM for Financial Services said:  “We are proud to be associated with Qatar 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. M-PESA has in the last seven years grown exponentially by continuously adding more innovations to the service, in a bid to drive the financial inclusion agenda and transform the lives of Kenyans,” she said.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 138 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Over the next few months, the network will grow further with new routes being launched to Al Hofuf, Saudi Arabia (May 15), Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey (May 22), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28), Miami, USA (June 10), Haneda, Japan (June 18) and Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1).