One of the benefits of information technology is the fact that it helps to make life less stressful for all, especially when it comes to reaching out to people through phone calls. Before now, one could only get airtime to recharge their lines through an outlet but as the world went cashless, telecommunication service providers began to come up with other ways customers can get airtime to recharge their lines. One of Nigeria’s popular mobile telecommunication networks, MTN has taken the lead in proffering solutions to customer’s airtime recharge issues.
Since its launch in August 2001, MTN has steadily deployed its services across the 36 states of Nigeria. The network now provides services in over 200 cities and towns, 10,000 villages, and communities across the country. Many of the country’s villages and communities are still being connected to the world of telecommunications. Hence, the growing need for mobile airtime. Thanks to the developing technology, you no longer necessarily need to buy scratch cards from an outlet to get your phone recharged. If you are an MTN subscriber, you can buy airtime or get your phone recharged through the following means:
- Through a bank USSD Code
- MTN On Demand
- MTN app
- MTN Top-up
How to Buy Airtime From MTN Using Bank USSD Code
The Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is currently the best available communications technology to deliver mobile financial services to low-income customers. It is a protocol used by GSM cellphones to communicate with their service provider’s computers via codes. The code is used to check mobile airtime and data balance, or to receive one-time passwords or PIN codes, among many applications.
How Does USSD Work?
USSD most commonly involves a query generated by a cellphone user (such as balance enquiry). Once this request is sent, the USSD gateway forwards it to your USSD application. The application then responds to the request, and the process is repeated in reverse: the response goes back to the USSD gateway, which displays the content of that response on your phone screen.
These codes can work on smart-phones and feature phones alike. This means that you can even load airtime phone feature phone with these codes as no internet access is required to use them. Moreso, an MTN subscriber can purchase airtime (for self and third party, friends, and family) using these codes.
List of Bank USSD Codes You Can Use to Buy Airtime
- For Diamond Bank: Dial *302*amount#
- For MTN Diamond Y’ello Account: Dial *710*555*phone no*amount*pin#
- For Access Bank: Dial *901* amount#
- For Stanbic IBTC Bank: Dial *909*amount#
- For GTBank: Dial *737*amount#
- For Eco Bank: Dial *326*amount#
- For FirstBank: Dial*894*amount#
- For Fidelity Bank: Dial *770*amount#
- For FCMB: Dial *389*214*amount#
- For Sky Bank: Dial *389*076*1*amount#
- For Heritage Bank: Dial *322*030*amount#
- For Jaiz bank: Dial *389*301*amount#.
- For keystone Bank: Dial *322*082*amount#
- For Sterling Bank: Dial *822*amount#
- For UBA: Dial *389*033*1*amount#
- For Zenith Bank: Dial *966*amount#
Steps You Need To Take To Get Started
To be able to use the foregoing codes, customers must:
- Have a registered phone number (i.e the number you used to open your bank account)
- In case your line is not registered with your bank, visit the bank and fill-up the form that allows you access to the code
- Have an active debit/credit card
- Dial your bank’s USSD code and follow the prompts
For GT Bank customers, you use the code above to buy airtime from your account to your registered MTN phone number. But when recharging for another phone number, a friend or family member, you will need to enter the USSD code, amount, and the person’s phone number.
In this case, Dial *737*Amount*Phone number# to buy a recharge card for someone else. for example, dialing *737*200*080000000# will send NGN200 airtime to 080000000.
How to Use the MTN Top-up
The MTN Top-up allows you to top-up a prepaid mobile phone wherever you are in the world to Nigeria. With zero fees on airtime top-up granted, all you need is:
- Access to a smartphone, computer, or tablet
- The recipient’s phone number you wish to top-up the airtime
- Enter the number of the mobile phone you wish to top-up, and the country the owner of the phone is in, you can transfer airtime directly to their phone quickly, safely, and securely.
- The top-up will happen almost immediately and you and the recipient will receive an SMS notification that the transfer has been made.
You Can Buy Airtime Using MTN On Demand
Like your bank USSD code, the MTN on demand also makes use of a unique code (*904#) to buy airtime from one’s account. Using the MTN On Demand USSD code does not attract any charge. However, there are specific banks that support this service, banks like Fidelity Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Stanbic Bank, FCMB, Access Bank, Union Bank, UBA, First Bank and Keystone Bank supports this code and you can buy airtime or data bundles to a maximum specified by the bank.
To buy airtime directly from any of the above-mentioned banks using the *904# code, these simple steps will guide you:
- Dial *904*amount#, you will get a list of banks to choose from, simply choose the bank account you want to purchase the airtime from.
- Next, you will be asked to input the account number, after putting it, tap the send icon.
- You will also be asked to put your pin and confirm it; this pin will be used in subsequent transactions.
- Once you follow these steps, your mobile number will be credited.
To purchase airtime for another mobile number follow the steps below;
- Dial *904*Amount*phone number of the third party#
- Next, you will be asked to select the bank where you will be charged from.
- You will then be required to input your PIN, after this, the mobile number will be credited and your bank account will be debited.
How to Buy MTN Airtime Using MyMTN App
The MTN mobile app, known as My MTN APP allows its customers to recharge and check phone credit balance anytime and anywhere. One can also access services that are active on their line and easily deactivate or activate any service as they desire. To get the APP on your smartphone, all you need to do is to visit your App store, Play store, Blackberry World and Windows Store to download MyMTN App. Follow the guidelines below to buy airtime from MyMTN APP;
- Login to the MTN app using your mobile number and a 6-digit OTP code that will be sent to your phone via SMS.
- Select the recharge option which takes you to a grid of options related to airtime recharge.
- Select your preferred option for recharge such as Recharge via debit card.
- Enter the amount you want to recharge.
- Select your debit card type and include your card details.
- Confirm transaction to instantly receive an airtime credit alert.
How to Transfer Airtime From Your MTN Account Using MTN Share
MTN share allows you to share airtime with your friends and loved ones. Dial *777*Recipient’s Number*Amount*PIN# on your phone and then click on send/press OK. For example, dial*777*08000000000*1500*1234# and then send/OK to share airtime with 08000000000. When the transfer has been completed, you will receive a message informing you that the transfer was successful.
Can You Get a Refund If You Recharge Another Line By Mistake?
In cases where you accidentally recharged a wrong phone number, contact the MTN customer care service who would ensure that the number in question exists.
If you’ve recharged an existing telephone number, unfortunately, the service provider may not be able to reverse the airtime as they are not authorized to remove money from a customer’s account without the consent of the account owner. The only possible means to recover your money is to come to an agreement with the owner of the recharged number.
Meanwhile, you can speak to any MTN customer care representative on this issue by following these steps:
- Dial 180. Wait for 2 seconds after the call has connected
- Press 9. Wait for 2 seconds
- Press 6. Wait for 2 second
- Press 0. Wait for 2 seconds and you can speak to your MTN customer care representative
What To Do If You Over-scratch a Number on Your Airtime Voucher
Did you scratch your MTN card to a point that you can’t see the PIN? Do not panic as MTN has laid out two processes to help you recharge your airtime. You either call a customer care agent by dialing 180 on your mobile line, or you can use the MyMTN app installed on your smartphone. Here’s a guide you can follow.
To Load your Over-scratched MTN Card using MyMTN App:
- Login to your MTN App
- Select the option that says load the over-scratched card
- Fill in your card PIN in the first space, making sure to replace missing numbers with dots.
- Enter the serial number of the card and then enter the phone number you wish to recharge the card on.
To Load Your Over-scratched MTN Card by Speaking to a Customer Care Agent
- Dial 180 on your phone with the card ready.
- Press 6 for support and then 0 to speak with a customer care representative.
- Tell them you are having trouble with loading an over-scratched MTN card.
- You will be asked to provide the serial number on the card and the PIN of the card still visible.
If you are able to provide the serial number of the card and part of the PIN correctly, the customer care representative will load the airtime directly into your account.