An emerging trend in Zimbabwe is that people are now buying their mobile airtime on the internet. This is so especially for people looking for NetOne and Telecel airtime.
Below we list the reasons why Zimbabweans have resorted to the internet.
1. Trying to keep safe by avoiding going out
Many Zimbabweans are avoiding going out so as not to risk catching Coronavirus. Going to street corners or to supermarkets and physically getting an airtime juice card presents the risk of infection.
Now that airtime is available online people are choosing to buy it from the safety of their homes.
One doesn’t need to go out to the streets anymore.
2. Ease of payment using EcoCash for any network
While it has traditionally been possible to buy Econet airtime with EcoCash, one couldn’t use that same EcoCash to get NetOne or Telecel airtime. This is now possible. NetOne and Telecel users can now simply go online and their EcoCash wallet.
This has made it possible for people that have EcoCash to not necessarily need to use Econet for calls and internet bundles.
3. No Juice cards on the streets because of Coronavirus Lockdown
Zimbabwe, just like other countries, has had restricted movement because of the COVID-19 lockdowns. This has meant that people that used to sell airtime on the streets are just not there anymore.
Zimbabweans have therefore needed to find alternatives to buying airtime, thereby resorting to the internet.
4. Zimbos have no physical cash
Zimbabwe has had a cash problem for several years now. At least since the Bond Notes were introduced around 2016.
People, therefore, struggle to find the cash to buy the airtime. With payment options like EcoCash, OneMoney, and ZIPIT it’s possible to use electronic means.
5. Airtime is cheaper online
A culture that has set in is that the value of EcoCash and real cash on the street is different. Is one wants to buy $100 airtime using EcoCash on the streets, they are asked to transfer $125 which becomes quite expensive. And even when paying with cash, some airtime vendors ask for a 10% – 15% fee on top.
When people buy airtime online however, they pay no extra fees. $100 airtime cost just $100.
6. Online people can buy even in the middle of the night
If someone runs out of a data bundle at night, they no longer need to wait until the next day to go out and buy airtime.
Buying on the internet is possible anytime because one is not buying from an actual person. It’s automated and available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
7. Customer care
When one buys airtime off the streets and goes home only to find that the juice card recharge pin has failed to work, getting help is hard. This means that one has to contact the network and give them the serial number of the juice card if it’s still visible.
Needless to say, contacting a network like Econet, NetOne, and Telecel, is hard. They have millions of customers and sometimes cannot always respond on time.
When one buys online from websites such as Buy Airtime, Paynow, and Techzim, however, the responsiveness of their support is quite fast.
Zimbabweans are also now buying airtime on WhatsApp directly especially for those times when they are not able to go the internet.
WhatsApp platforms, such as the one on this link, has become a trusted source for buying airtime.