So, as has been the norm for me over the last few years, I attended Concours D’Elegance last weekend. The event, which brings together car enthusiasts from all walks of life to witness a rare spectacle of vintage cars, happened to have the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) as the title sponsors.
Naturally, for any sponsor, there must be a plug, right? In this case, the plug was CBA’s youth-centred product, Loop.
I’ve been a CBA Loop customer since day 1 when I attended the launch event in Nairobi and opened my account through the then new app. The app has since been revamped, getting a fresh coat of paint as well as new services that had been promised at launch a year and a half ago that hadn’t yet been incorporated like mobile loans.
Now, while I usually just show up for events like the Concours D’Elegance to just satisfy my love for cars – even when that means missing the Russian Grand Prix – there’s just not enough money to go around. At least for some of us who don’t work in government, anyway. So, if an opportunity arises where I can save a shilling or two, I take it. Well, as long as I am not breaking any laws in the process and risking getting in trouble with the authorities.
So, it happens that CBA and the event organizers had this cool offer where those who bought their tickets using their Loop cards got 50% discount.
50% is too good to pass up. So, what did yours truly do? Well, just what any Kenyan would: go for the ticket at a discounted rate. I showed up at Ngong Racecourse on Sunday, CBA Loop card in hand and got my ticket at half the price (Kshs 600) thanks to me using the card. Interestingly, this was the first time that I had used the card physically. In fact, I had to re-enter my card’s PIN since I had forgotten it. This is because I only use the card for making online purchases.
The problem is, before I got to the point of having enough money in the card to pay for my ticket at the gate (I am not an advance ticket kind of guy, I hate commitment), there was none in the first place. I had money in my M-Pesa and while I knew that M-Pesa would be available as a payment option at the gate, as is the case for any self-respecting event, that wouldn’t have given me the 50% discount I was going after now, would it? But I was going to use M-Pesa, anyway: to top up my Loop card. This is where things usually get a bit complicated and I have to do a Google search every time.
While the mySafaricom app handily provides me with a search tool that shows the CBA Loop Pay Bill number, as well as the amount any such transaction would cost me, I still have to figure out the account number. This is why the Google search is usually necessary. Since I usually top up once and then go on to use the card for months on end before needing to top up again, I usually forget all the nitty gritties and have to refresh my mind when doing it again. As I discovered last Sunday, therein lied my vulnerability. Since I couldn’t find an official page from CBA highlighting the process, I was at the mercy of fellow bloggers and, as you will see below, the information available, while accurate, is not as exhaustive as I would’ve wanted it to be.
So, instead of whining or having to scratch my head every other time I need to top up my Loop card, I’ve put down the quick steps below that I will be referring to in the future and, hopefully, that will be of help to other Loop customers as well. In case you’re wondering, I’ve done something similar before.
Via SIM Toolkit
1. Open your SIM toolkit
2. Select M-Pesa
3. Select Lipa na M-Pesa
4. Select Pay Bill
5. Select Enter business no.
6. Enter business number 714777
7. Enter your mobile phone number as your account no. Please note that this is the phone number that is linked to your CBA Loop account and card. Alternatively, you can also just enter your CBA Loop account number. In case you have forgotten it (who has the time to memorize 12 digits they don’t refer to often?) then just fish out your card and check the bottom left where it’s inscribed right after your name (as the cardholder). I found the latter process to be rather hectic and I prefer just using my mobile phone number as the account number just as I do with other prepaid debit cards.
8. Enter the amount you want to top up your Loop card with
9. Enter your M-Pesa PIN
10. Confirm top up transaction details. Check that you have entered the correct Pay Bill number and account number (your phone number)/ Press OK.
11. Wait for two confirmation texts on your phone one from Loop card (they always send another taunting you but I’ll ignore that) and the other from M-Pesa alerting you that you have received money from yourself and that part of your money has been transferred to your Loop card, respectively.
12. That’s it, you’re good to go
Via mySafaricom app
1. Open the mySafaricom app
2. Go to M-Pesa
3. Select Lipa na M-Pesa
4. Under Pay Bill, key in the business number (714777) and the account number in the spaces provided. While doing so (more so the latter), please refer to step 7 above.
5. Steps 10, 11 and 12 above follow
6. Additionally, you can use the CBA Loop app to check your statement to confirm that the deposit/top-up has been processed successfully and the money credited to your Loop account.