In this post today, I will be taking you through the Mpesa Xpress billing service, which is available in the Google Playstore for Kenyans. For those who don’t know it, it is a method that enables you to purchase those premium applications and games you see with a price tag on the Mobile Application Store(Playstore).
In the previous years, long before Mpesa Xpress Billing was made available, the only way you could purchase premium applications on the Playstore was using your credit card linked to the playstore. This was not convenient for everyone, especially those who don’t own a credit or debit card. Therefore, Google Playstore, after being requested for a long time, decided to introduce the Mpesa Xpress billing that enabled Kenyan Mobile money users to link their Mpesa number to the app store and make purchases of their favourite applications and games.
Now that I have given you a brief description of the Mpesa Xpress bill, let me show you how you could link your Mobile money Mpesa account to Google Playstore. To do this, you will need to have your smartphone, a stable internet connection, and an active Safaricom SIM card registered and active by Safaricom Mpesa. This linking can not be done through a computer or laptop, so make sure you only use your Smartphone.
How To Link Your Mpesa Number To Mpesa Xpress Billing Service
To link your Mpesa number to Mpesa Xpress billing:
- Open the phone menu, locate the Google Playstore app and open it.
- Access the Google PlayStore menu by linking on the 3 dots/dashes on the top left corner of the screen.
- Below the account option, Click on the “Payment Methods” option.
- Look for the “Add payment method” and choose “Use Mpesa Xpress Billing”.
- Ensure that the network you are using is for your Mpesa registered number. The data bundles should be on for the number also. This is because when you choose the “Use Mpesa Xpress billing”, playstore will need to verify that the line is active.
- A verification text will be sent to your number and Mpesa Xpress billing will be automatically added to your Google Playstore payment options.
How To Buy Apps and Games from Playstore Using Mpesa.
Now that we have linked our Mpesa account to Mpesa Express billing, you can now purchase the mobile application you wanted. To do this:
- Open your Google App Store application from your Smartphone’s applications menu.
- Search for the application you were interested in purchasing. Note that will only be billed for premium applications, free downloadable applications won’t cost you a dime.
- Once you have found the app, click on the price and then the “Buy” option.
- In the next screen select “Mpesa Xpress Billing” as the payment method. You can also use your debit or credit card if you have them already linked.
- Google Play Store will redirect you to your Mpesa SIM tool kit in order for you to enter your MPesa PIN and complete the transaction.
- You will receive a notification from Mpesa confirming that the transaction was successful.
- Google Play Store will also confirm the payment has been made, which takes less than a minute, and the app or game will start downloading automatically.
- Wait for the download and installation process to complete.
- When the process is complete, click open to launch your application.
Please ensure that when you leave your kids with your phone, they should not download applications from your playstore without your permission. They might make you incur charges for premium applications they download without your consent, especially if they have your Mpesa PIN. This is why your Mpesa PIN should not be shared by anyone else.
Also, remember that charges for using Mpesa services will still be incurred during this transaction.
Mpesa Xpress Billing Unavailable Error Message
I am sure you have come across this error when trying to download some premium applications from your phone’s playstore. I will explain to you what happens in this case. When developers make their applications live, and set up how they will be receiving their payment for their paid applications, they have to also tell the playstore that they allow payments via Mpesa.
So if you see this Mpesa Xpress Billing Unavailable error, it means that the developer does not accept this payment system. This is why it is good to also link your account with a debit or credit card.