Payment of monthly DStv subscription fees is set to ease for many Ugandan subscribers following a deal between MultiChoice Uganda, a pay television service provider and Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), a mobile operator.
According to Tina Wamala, the public relations officer of MultiChoice Uganda, last week announced that the two firms signed an agreement that will see Uganda Telecom's customers use the firm's M-sente service to renew their pay TV subscription.
M-Sente is a mobile payment solution that increases convenience and reduces the cost of making payments and transferring cash, just like MTN's mobile money. Mobile customers make payments to service providers like MultiChoice by way of short codes and SMS on the mobile platforms.
With the new deal, Wamala said, UTL and DStv customers will now eliminate the burden of long queues at service points and other points of sale and can instead make payments using their mobile phones at their convenience from anywhere and anytime. The initiative was first introduced to MTN customers in Uganda by MultiChoice. StarTimes, DStv's competitor in Uganda this year embraced a similar payment channel.
While announcing the new deal, Charles Hamya, the general manager MultiChoice Uganda said, the partnership is crucial to the company because it immediately brings into its fold a number of customers that have not been able to pay for their DStv service using their mobile handsets.
"M-Sente subscribers, like DStv subscribers using other mobile networks, can now instantly update and reconnect their DStv service without necessarily having to call or visit any of the MultiChoice outlets," according to a statement from the company.
M-sente has at least 300 000 customers who will benefit from the new service that brings convenience to many DStv ad UTL customers, according to Peter Kakaire, the head of M-Sente.
"We have always believed in providing affordable access. This is just one of many platforms through which we are delivering our promise. As you are aware, you can pay water bills, school fees, and a host of other payments using Msente," he said.
Mobile money platforms
According to Wamala, DStv subscriber patterns indicate that most customers are embracing the use of their mobile phones to make payments in an ever changing environment.
Mobile money platforms in Uganda are also used to pay water bills, school fees and a host of other payments just like in Kenya and other global economies. Uganda has about 16 million mobile phone users but with multiple SIM cards, according to the Uganda Communications Commission. Many firms are launching products and services that can be delivered through mobile phones, to fit in the mobile revolution.
Walter Wafula is a seasoned journalist who has reported for the Daily Monitor newspaper in Kampala-Uganda. He is also a contributor on Bizcommunity.com website. Email Walter at and connect on LinkedIn.
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