Frequently Asked Questions

Was last updated on August 5th, 2016.


What is Coowry?

Coowry allows you to use mobile airtime to exchange stuff.

What is it for?

  • To pay for digital content, goods, products, software and services. For example, to pay for an application in an App Store.
  • To cancel small debts between individuals, to exchange airtime with peers for small tasks, services or goods.
  • To make a small donation to a big cause.
  • To receive compensations from large affiliate networks for services or tasks provided to these Networks.

What are its most distinctive features?

It's free. There are no extra costs or fees when you exchange airtime through Coowry (which is the norm with other payment methods). If you send $1, the other end receives $1.

Coowry is ruled by telecommunications regulation, rather than by financial regulation. It focuses on micropayments of up to $10 per trade and with a limit based on the ARPU of the client and his past history.

The only thing you need to use Coowry is a mobile phone. There is no need to download an app or go through a complex sign up process. Besides your number, no further information is necessary.

How do I use it?

Coowry can be used both to send and receive airtime. Different user experiences are available depending on your needs and your device. Use our web or mobile apps, or send a SMS or email to perform a transaction. Transactions can also be ordered through twitter, USSD and calls to an IVR.

What personal information do you collect?

You only need to provide your mobile phone number to use Coowry. We do not require any additional information. The web application can be accessed with a token sent to your phone via SMS.

Further information (such as email, a twitter account, etc) can be provided to enhance the user experience, but it will never be necessary in order to exchange airtime and check on your transaction history.

What happens if I am porting my mobile number to another operator?

You will maintain access to all your trades and previous activity, and you will be able to operate normally as soon as the portability is complete.

Nevertheless, Coowry uses a unique internal number associated with your contract. This allows Coowry to keep your trades safe even if your number is abandoned.

Can I exchange airtime with anyone?

Yes, you can exchange airtime with anyone who is a customer of the Telecom Operators that are part of Coowry.

Can I use Coowry if I have a postpaid mobile phone?

Of course! Coowry works for both prepaid (pay as you go) and postpaid mobile phones.

How do I sign up?

You don’t need to do anything. The registration is done implicitly when you send or receive your first trade. Once this happens, you’ll have access to all your history and activity.

Is Coowry an interoperable system?

Coowry is a global and interoperable system. This means you can send and receive airtime from a customer of any of the member Operators from anywhere in the world.

What is the cost for the end user?

There are no extra costs or fees when you exchange airtime through Coowry. If you send $1, the other end receives $1.

How long does it take for the airtime to be transferred?

All transactions are done in real time.

What is the maximum amount I can transfer?

Coowry operates with micropayments, which means a maximum of $10 per trade or the equivalent in your local currency.

How can I track my trades?

You can do so right from your dashboard, where you can also check on your current balance.

Merchants and Internet Agents

What is it for?

  • To sell digital content, products, software and services to anyone with a mobile phone, reaching almost all of the world's population.
  • To settle payments with your network of affiliates, partners or employees.
  • To build new marketing campaigns and promotions for your products and services.

What are the fees and costs for merchants that use Coowry?

There are no fees and no hidden costs. If a customer sends you $1 you will receive $1.

I have a product I’d like to exchange for airtime, do I need to be a merchant (a legal entity) to use Coowry?

No, you do not need to be a legal entity to use Coowry. You can exchange your goods, products or assets for airtime and operate by yourself.

What is the limit per transaction?

The limit for each transaction is $10 or the equivalent in your local currency.

Can I use Coowry and other payment methods at the same time?


Yes, you can use Coowry alongside other payment methods. Combine them to maximize reach and offer flexibility to your customers. Coowry is especially convenient for small transactions of up to $10.

How long do I have to wait until I receive the value?

You don't have to wait. You will receive the airtime as soon as the trade is confirmed by the customer. Everything is done in real time.

How can I track my trades?

You will have access to a dashboard where you can track all transactions and activity in real time.

How do I use Coowry to pay my affiliates, partners and so on?

You can pay your affiliates and partners using the agents dashboard, either through single trades or by ordering bulk transactions. And if you have coding experience, you can execute the same actions through our Rest API.