The Kulibot is the first bot which allows people to top up their airtime and buy ZESA prepaid tokens via Whatsapp.
The process you follow is simple and straightforward. Users interacting with the bot will be prompted to respond to options offered by the bot at every step of their purchase.
First, the bot gives you an option to either purchase airtime or electricity. Once you have chosen an option the bot will give you further instructions. After following these a USSD prompt pops up asking for your EcoCash Pin and once you have entered that your transaction is completed.
Here are some of the pics of a transaction we made:
At the time of writing, Kulibot can only process payments made through EcoCash. This means you are out of luck if you are using Zim’s other mobile money services (Telecash and OneMoney) or the Zimswitch platform.
For now, this won’t be too much a big deal because Zimbabwe has basically become a cashless economy and EcoCash already has the bulk of people who are reliant on mobile money as they have 98% (as of 2017) of the mobile money market.
If you are desperate to use this feature but you are a subscriber on NetOne and Telecel, the best you can do is sign up for EcoCash since it is now possible for subscribers from other networks to register on EcoCash.
Is this is a good thing?
Yes and no. I think the idea is a great one because it makes it even more convenient to buy electricity. There’s a large number of Zimbabweans on Whatsapp and for them, Kulibot has fewer steps compared to services such as …
The negative aspect of this is more of a side effect of migrating to these platforms. We already wrote an article complaining about the fact that Whatsapp is not the internet.
Now, I’m not saying that because of this you should steer clear of the service. If you find it convenient and less strenuous to use than the other channels you have been using then why not go ahead and use what is most convenient for you.
Just beware of the effects of making Whatsapp the portal through which you conduct business, consume news, and communicate as well. A survey conducted by Voices of Zimbabwe (VoZ) saw 52.3% of participants site Whatsapp as their news source but we have had multiple conversations about Whatsapp and how easily fake news is spread on the platform.
Anyway, I’m digressing… Kudos to Kulibot and their new service…
Oh and here’s Kulibot’s number:+263782597913
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