The smartphone, mobile money and the internet have changed the way we pay for products and services. Replacing the long lines at the bank with a simple tap on a phone or PC surely sounds convenient. At least that’s what the adverts tell us.
But if you critically examine the e-pay process (in Uganda) especially for electricity, a series of questions go answered. Like the long account numbers, the absence of a transactions history, the transaction charges and most important of all, flexibility towards various mobile money networks and payment options.
Well, a new mobile app answers all the above. Developed by Ugmart Ltd, the “Ug Power” application erases mobile network boarders, allowing users to buy Yaka tokens using various e-pay options. “You can top up your Yaka using any payment provider available. So far we only have Airtel Money and MTN mobile money. We are still working to add Smart Pesa, Africell Money and VISA. It’ll be possible for a person abroad to buy a Yaka token for their Mum in Uganda”, Says Bernard Tebandeke, one of the app developers.
The application provides a transactions history with the ability to simply refresh (in case of failure of a transaction) as opposed to the customary method of starting afresh, and also provides the specifics about the unit cost, charges, token numbers and others as seen in the screenshot below.
The app allows users to save other users’ Yaka meter numbers just like they would in a phone book. So if one wants to pay for ‘Mum’, ‘Bro’, ‘Bae’ or ‘Shibubu’, all they have to do is select a name and leave the rest to the app. According to Bernard, the application provides cheaper transaction rates compared to what the telecom companies have to offer.
The “Ug Power” app is now available on Google Play and can be downloaded via this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ugmart.power