Ghana: MultiChoice Subscribers Go Cashless with txtNpay

Technology & Convergence

The thrill and convenience of engaging in cashless transactions for goods and services was experienced by hundreds of MultiChoice subscribers for the first time when Afric Xpress, a pioneer mobile phone-based payment solution provider, activated its txtNpay interface with the direct satellite television service at the weekend.

Hundreds of DStv subscribers who would normally swarm the offices of MultiChoice on weekends to settle their bills with cash at the counter in order to stay connected are now texting in their payments from home and elsewhere at whatever time via their mobile phones. txtNpay is a mobile phone-based secured payment system which enables its users to pay utility bills, send money to any other mobile phone user, buy prepaid air time, check bank account balances and purchase goods and service. The txtNpay wallet is an electronic stored value account which customers can charge by buying txtNpay electronic cash at any approved partner or outlet.

The partnership between Afric Xpress and Ghana's most popular pay-per-view television service swung into motion when the electronic payment solution provider began its registration exercise for customers of MultiChoice just ahead of the Easter holidays. Once registered, MultiChoice subscribers become automatically hooked onto the txtNpay platform and are empowered, through its simple but highly encoded electronic system, to transact payments by texting from their handset at anytime and from any location within the coverage of their telecom network. The txtNpay service is rendered at no cost to the MultiChoice customer.

"I am a busy person and I live at Amanfrom, way out of town; I am a staunch Liverpool fan and would not miss any of their games for any reason. I watch all the premiership games on DStv but my only headache has been the journey I have had to make to pay my bills to stay connected all the time. I prefer to pay my bills with as little hassles as possible - no journeys, no queues, no waiting. I think this txtNpay thing is amazing," said Ato Hagan, an excited customer who said he paid his last DStv bill from his car just outside the MultiChoice Head Office.

To increase access to its services and decentralize the bill payments system for customers, MultiChoice has opened some branch offices across Accra and other metropolitan capitals. With the arrival of txtNpay however, officials strongly believe that payment of bills cannot be decentralized any better than enabling the customers to settle bills at a convenient distance and time by means of their personal mobile handset.

"We fully embrace txtNpay as an alternative and a more convenient payment system for our subscribers. You see, MultiChoice is not really a money collection company; our core business is managing the interests of our subscribers and selling hardware. These are what we do best, and the less people engage us by making physical payments at our offices, the better for us and our subscribers themselves," Anne Sackey, MultiChoice's Public Relations Manager, told journalists. Aaron Ampofo, Head of Operations at MultiChoice, said the most exciting aspect of his company's partnership with Afric Xpress is the speed and ease of transaction which the txtNpay platform injects into bill payment.

'They are paying their bills on time, without the inconvenience of travelling and being physically present at our offices; the fact that our subscribers now do not have to carry or handle hard cash to pay their bills is a bonus which txtNpay brings on board,' he said. "Our partnership with Afric Xpress is mutual, the important thing being that we are using their txtNpay platform to satisfy our subscribers' needs. While it ensures speed in bill payments and saves us time and space, it also offers our subscribers a lot more convenience and security. I think we will benefit even more from this partnership when Afric Xpress starts moving into the remote parts of the country," said Ampofo.

TxtNpay interfaces with a wide network of partners which includes telecom companies, banks and financial institutions, petroleum marketing companies, internet service providers, tertiary institutions and utility services providers for services which include money transfer, mobile phone top ups, bill payments and merchant payments.