Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Zain Launches International Top-Up Service

Zain has unveiled an International Airtime top up service that will enable people living in Europe, USA, and Canada to purchase Zain airtime for friends and family living in countries where Zain operates.

The new service is now live 'to Kenya' with further roll-outs to Uganda and Tanzania, and other countries planned over the coming months. Those using the service will be able to top-up each specified mobile phone with defined airtime values ranging from Kshs 1500 to 3500. Top up will be through credit cards which are functional in the 16 participating countries.

The service will be accessed online through the Zain website. "To buy a top up, users will be required to register on the website and select up to three numbers which they may directly send airtime to," said Rene Meza, Zain Kenya Managing Director. With 30 million members of the African diaspora currently contributing approx $40 billion annually in remittances to Africa, Zain and Mi-Pay anticipate high demand for the service.

Under the contract, Mi-Pay is providing Zain with full-service delivery which includes Zain branded front-end web designs; settlement and reconciliation; merchant acquisition; and system monitoring and reporting.

"We operate in many prime remittance corridors where people living in rural and remote regions rely on family and friends abroad for additional financial support," said Chris Gabriel, CEO, Zain Africa. "We believe this international top-up service will provide a new way to channel this support through the provision of airtime. We chose Mi-Pay, because of its proven expertise and capability," he added.

The scalable and flexible solution will allow Zain to quickly create, implement and roll-out the international top-up facility; creating valuable new revenue streams and vital new services for its customers. Norman Frankel, CEO of Mi-Pay said: "We are delighted that Zain has agreed to work with Mi-Pay on an exclusive basis, using our International Airtime platform to deliver remote airtime top-up. Given the high numbers of Africans now living abroad and their desire to ensure contacts at home have access to crucial mobile communications, we believe this will prove a popular service. Our world class platform is designed to accommodate rapid growth allowing us to 'go-live' in both recipient and sending countries in quick succession - with minimal cost and risk to Zain."

The service is now live and available from the following 16 key sending countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

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