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Airtel Uganda to extend smartphone loans to customers



Hon. Judith Nabakooba, Minister of ICT gives her remarks at the "Kwata Essimu" campaign launch.

Hon. Judith Nabakooba, Minister of ICT gives her remarks at the “Kwata Essimu” service launch.

By Our Reporter

Airtel Uganda, in partnership with Mastercard, Samsung and Asante Financial Services Group, has launched a Pay-on-Demand mobile platform  to enable access to smartphone devices for under-served consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The service dubbed Kwata Essimu, will offer Airtel Uganda customers a chance to own selected Samsung 4G smartphones to include; Samsung A01, A3 Core and A11 through provision of effective hand-set loans for consumers.

To request the smartphone loan, customers will have to dial *284# to opt in and view available offers. They will then have to complete registration before visiting a service centre to receive their device. Customers  have an option of paying the loan in 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months.

Manoj Murali, Managing Director Airtel Uganda commented: “Our mobile money services are changing customers’ lives across Uganda. 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 Uganda’s entrepreneurs.”

This new partnership will deliver affordable asset financing to consumers and MSMEs through the convenience of their smart handsets at a low upfront cost while distributing payments over time. As the product is used, importantly, the individual or business will establish a digital transaction history, making other financing solutions accessible, such as credit, savings,
investments and insurance.

Charles Kimani, Director Products Samsung stated: “Samsung is proud to be the provider of world class devices with an end-to-end security platform with always-on protection. This partnership will benefit the people across Africa starting with Uganda and will create affordable payment plans to access Samsung devices. There is so much growth opportunity in the region
and we believe that this partnership will help accelerate economic growth in the mobile industry.”

For small business owners and entrepreneurs, this is particularly beneficial as it offers opportunity to obtain financing to drive their business forward as well as build digital capabilities for their everyday business. Pay-on-Demand users will also be able to access digital payments through Mastercard’s virtual card and Mastercard Quick Response (QR Codes) functionality on their Airtel mobile money app enabling them to make digital transactions across face to face and online merchants.

Hon. Judith Nabakooba, Minister of ICT said; “The current pandemic has created a paradigm shift in the way we live as Ugandans. Now more than ever, there is an apparent need for digital presence most especially for businesses. I applaud Airtel Uganda, Mastercard, Samsung and Asante for recognizing this and championing yet another cause to drive smartphone and digital penetration in Uganda.”

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