Paybill numbers have come a long way, and are one of the reasons M-PESA features are so loved and widespread.
The issuance of the numbers, which, by definition, allow to make merchant payments, has since been digitized, so applicants are no longer required to make a physical appearance in a Safaricom Shop.
That aside, the majority of us are also aware of temporary short-term Paybill numbers that are quite common now.
Safaricom calls short-term Paybill as a product that allows fundraising funds for different needs, including weddings, funerals, school fees or for charity reasons.
The numbers are essential in such cases because fundraisings are a one-time thing that usually lasts a day, a couple of weeks, or months. And when they come to an end, the number is discarded.
Safaricom says that short-term pay bill numbers can last up to six months, which is a fairly long time in cases of extended fundraisings such as medical bills or school fees.
Period to access
The application process can be accessed from a self-help portal. After submitting the necessary documents, applicants can have the number within 24 hours – that is, if the application is accepted.
The application process
- On this self-help portal, customers can see three options: Buy Goods Till, Short Term Paybill, and Business to Customer. Select Option 2 for Short Term Paybill.
- A new window with a series of categories comes up. Select the purpose of the Paybill number.
- Say you choose Medical Fund. The next page will give you the specific details you need to attach during the application process. In this case, for example, the applicant needs certified hospital admission forms, a copy of the ID, a birth certificate if it is for a minor, and a letter from the bank or canceled cheque.
- Afterward, click APPLY.
- The next page is filled with applicant details, validity period, and payment details. You need to fill the starred(*) options.
- Accept Terms and Conditions.
Access to funds
Applicants can access the funds using the nominated Paybill number by dialing *234*4# and following prompts. The same USSD code includes services such as checking balances and withdrawing funds.
The funds can be withdrawn via cash (MPESA) or from bank. Banks make more sense because M-PESA has limits, that is, for huge amounts of money.
Applicants can track the state of their applications from the portal on the ‘My applications’ tab.
Pending means the application was submitted successfully and is undergoing review.
Rejected means just that. Of course, Safaricom will tell you why.
Approved means your application was successful, and the number is being processed.
Complete means the short-term Paybill number is active and has been dispatched to the applicant.