Airtel Africa has unveiled a new financing plan to help subscribers access smartphones on loan basis. The partnership, with Mastercard and Samsung will see users from Kenya and 13 other markets purchase devices and pay for them in monthly installments.
Uganda will be the first country to benefit from the deal in October, pending regulatory approval. The service will then be rolled out to other markets including Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, DRC, Gabon, Malawi, Zambia and Madagascar. Others are Seychelles, Chad, Niger and Congo Brazzaville.
“This innovative partnership will help Airtel feature phone customers upgrade to smartphones and pay with Airtel Money on flexible instalment plans. This opens up the digital economy and creates additional opportunities for Africa’s entrepreneurs,” said Raghunath Mandava, CEO of Airtel Africa.
The smartphones on loan will be available to Airtel subscribers only and will be based on customer’s transaction history. They will then be able to purchase a variety of Samsung devices which they can pay for in flexible instalments for up to 12 months.
The Airtel smartphones loan deal is similar to Safaricom’s and Google’s partnership in the Lipa mdogo mdogo programme, which allows subscribers to purchase smartphones and pay in instalments.
The partners will work with Asante Financial Services Group (Asante) to launch the pay-on-demand platform to allow users make digital payments through the MasterCard virtual card and MasterCard Quick Response (QR Codes) tool on their Airtel Mobile Money apps. This will enable users make digital transactions face to face and through online merchants.
Mastercard also said that the service will provide safe, secure and convenient consumer financing.
“Pay-on-Demand platform enables safe, secure and convenient consumer financing via Samsung devices with embedded Knox security platform, through Airtel Africa’s network,” Mastercard said in a statement.
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