One of the challenges in crpyto is how to convert your funds for everyday usage, such as getting airtime. However, thanks to innovation, we are seeing more and more options that let users get to convert their crypto near instantly.
One service that is trying to make it easier for regular people to have access and usage of crypto is the Valora app.
Built on the Celo blockchain, Valora uses blockchain technology to enable users to send money from one continent to another in seconds, with near-zero fees.
Celo is a blockchain that supports stablecoins and digital assets while using mobile phone numbers to secure the user’s public keys.
The app, which is free to download in the Google Playstore, also lets users to convert their crypto assets into airtime in a simple process that can be followed through on the app.
Here are the steps for buying airtime via the Valora crypto app anywhere in Africa:
1. Log into the App
Here is how the login page looks like where you are required to enter a pin that you already saved.
Here is how the front page looks like. It reveals the amount of funds you hold while also providing buttons to enable transactions.
In this case, it can be seen that the user already has some 23.83 cUSD held in their Celo wallet. cUSD is one of the stablecoins in Celo and it tracks the dollar 1:1.
cUSD can be exchanged for other cryptocurrencies on most major exchanges. Other than cUSD, funds on Valora can also be held in:
- cEUR (Stablecoin that tracks the Euro)
- $CELO (Native Crypto)
2. Withdraw Funds
Once you are in the app, click on the 3-line button to reveal the menu. In that menu, you will select a button called ‘Add/Withdraw.’ This gives you the options to either:
- Add Funds to Your Celo Wallet
- Withdraw Your Funds
Click on ‘Withdraw Funds’ from where you will be provided with the page for withdrawing funds, with a set of other options.
Here is how it looks like:
3. Receive Funds in Gift Cards and Mobile Top Up
The next page will require that you select the asset/currency that you want to withdraw.
For the sake of this tutorial, we have selected cUSD since that is the currency we hold our funds in.
Once you select the digital asset, you are also supposed to select the avenue you want to receive your funds in. The app lets you withdraw via 4 options:
- Bank Account
- Gift Cards and Mobile Top Up
- Celo Address
- Crypto exchange
For our case, we will be selecting the second option ‘Gift Cards and Mobile Top Up.’
4. Select Your Mobile Phone Operator
Valora works with third-party services to off-ramp the crypto assets to a mobile channel.
Once you select that you want to receive you assets as a gift card and mobile top up, you will be required to select your mobile operator as well as country.
In this case, the page has a menu item called ‘Bidali’ because the third-party service providing the off-ramp service is called Bidali, a fintech that turns funds into gift cards for e-commerce use.
Moreover, the app has also determined on its own that the user is in Uganda, upon which it presents a list of 4 operators in the country to where the funds can be received.
5. Enter Amount
Once you select the operator, the app will ask you to enter the amount that you want to withdraw. In this case, the user selected ‘Airtel’ mobile operator.
The user also selected 1 cUSD, which translates to 3,600 Ugandan Shillings (UGX). After entering the amount, there is a slot just below that where the user gets to enter their phone number before clicking on ‘Purchase.’
The app will ask you for your email address where you can receive receipt of the purchase before you are presented with a confirmation page for the transaction.
Lastly, still on the Valora app, the third-party will show you the total transaction together with cost whereupon you can select ‘Pay.’
Once you select ‘Pay,’ once again, Valora will require that you enter your pin, before two notifications:
- The first notification will be on the app from the third-party confirming that the transaction went through
- The final notification from Airtel operator confirming that the user has received airtime worth 3, 612 Ugandan Shillings.