Airtel Uganda has released an Android-based App for its mobile money platform. The company says its the first of its kind in the Industry and its probably right.
Android smartphone users can download the App free of charge from the Playstore. The App is meant to give users a better user experience compared to USSD Technology that was designed more for feature phones.
Commenting on the new development, Tom Gutjahr, the Managing Director Airtel Uganda said; “As the fastest growing network in the country, the needs of our customers are many and varied. This is one of the reasons Airtel Uganda is constantly working to create innovations that meet our customers need. The Airtel Money App gives our customers a wide range of possibilities; from giving their feedback to finding out more about the service. It is basically a one-stop platform for our customers.”
The company says an iOS version for iPhones will be coming soon. Ephraim Batambuze has already taken the App for a spin. He says he can install the App even without an Airtel Simcard and transact without an Airtel number;
“I have Installed the Airtel Money Android App and am not complaining.
1. I installed it on a phone with an MTN simcard
2. I only need the Airtel number to be on when registering my account.
3. I can transact using the app even when my Airtel number is off!”
This means that Airtel must have left legacy USSD technology according to Ephraim to a TCP/IP-based platform. Allan Rwakatungu, the Founder and CEO of intelworld, a company that develops mobile commerce solutions, argued that the industry should be looking beyond USSD as a platform for mobile banking to native Apps that have better user experience.
“I think it is TCP/IP, since am running the app on an Android phone with a different sim inside! If it was USSD, it would have required the Airtel line to be in the same phone.”