How to know who’s calling using MTN Mobile Money and Airtel Money

How to Know Who's Calling

Mystery time, Sherlock! If you’re like me and you get instant anxiety attacks whenever you receive calls from phone numbers that are not in my contact list, this goes out to you. Did you know that there’s a hidden Caller ID feature you can depend on to find out who’s calling you?

To know who’s calling your cell phone, try to send the phone number some mobile money. You don’t have to go through with it, though. Telecom companies always display the recipient’s name before you can confirm the transaction by entering your PIN.

Advertisement - Continue reading below

Since it became mandatory to register one’s SIM card with valid National ID or Passport (foreigners), you can be sure that the displayed name is the true owner of the phone number that just tried to call you. Mystery solved, Sherlock!

The thing is you never know if you dodged picking a jilted lover or your landlord’s calls. Or whether it was an emergency and you could have swooped in to save the day. Knowledge is power after all.

Related: How to Unlist your number from Truecaller

Getting Caller ID using Mobile Money (MTN & Airtel)

  1. Copy the phone number (or save it somewhere)
  2. Dial *185# (Airtel) or *165# (MTN)
  3. Choose option 1 (Send Money)
  4. On Airtel, choose either Option 1 (to Airtel and other number) or Option 2 (to an MTN number)
  5. Enter Mobile Money number
  6. Enter amount e.g UGX 500
  7. Enter reason (only for MTN)
  8. Done! You are now able to see the Caller’s registered name on mobile money. There’s no need to enter your PIN number to confirm, because, duh! There’s no way you’re sending a stranger free money.

Mobile MyAirtel and MTN MoMo apps

Since USSD short codes aren’t as visually pleasing, the route I default to is actually using the Airtel Money and MTN Momo apps. All you have to do is open/ login to the app, tap on Send Money, enter the phone number and voila! You do not have to pretend to send someone money to see their registered name for Airtel, but unfortunately, that is still the case for MTN.

Other ways to know who’s calling

Using mobile money is a surefire way to find out who’s calling, but not the only one. Not by far. As you can see above, the process a tad lengthy. USSD codes are clearly known for instantaneous results. Not to worry.

Truecaller is an Android/iOS and Browser-based Caller-ID and Spam blocking app that boasts over 140 million subscribers, of which 50 million are from the continent of Africa. Truecaller subscribers contribute to a dynamic database with over 3 billion searchable phone numbers. Odds are, you will be able to know who’s calling instantly with Truecaller installed.

Advertisement - Continue reading below

If you’re not about that life, Google Contacts serves similar service albeit on a limited scale. Contacts comes preinstalled on Android devices and is integrated with your Google account. Google provides Caller ID for publicly listed phone numbers. These are usually businesses or organisations of some kind. You can also report a number as spam and Google will add it to its own black-list database.


Sign up to our Newsletter for expert advice and tips of how to get the most out of your Tech Gadgets

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.