Uganda’s Telecom giant – Airtel on Tuesday revealed its partnership with Mastercard, Samsung and Asante Financial Services Group (“Asante”), so as to lead pivotal role in Uganda’s digital inclusion through offering low cost Pay-on-Demand services.
The solution is prospected to enable digital access to smartphone devices for the less served customers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and is poised to help drive financial inclusion and generate improved economic possibilities for people and businesses.
The platform directly tackles the ongoing socio – economic difficulties, resulting from limited access to financing that are faced by many consumers, entrepreneurs and merchants across Uganda.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
Chidi Okpala, CEO, Asante Financial Services Group said: “Our purpose in Asante Financial Services Group is to advance financial independence and improve the well-being of Africans and African businesses. This bold Africa-wide initiative, starting with Uganda, is aimed at facilitating convenient ownership of smart devices for underserved segments and will catalyse a future for Africa that is built on shared prosperity.