By Mark Kawalya
A partnership between MTN Uganda and M-KOPA will make 4G smartphones available to Ugandans using a flexible installment payment model. The move seeks to make the devices accessible to people who may not be able to pay for the phones upfront. M-KOPA is a fintech firm that offers connected financing and digital financing services to some of Africa’s underbanked consumers.
A successful business model
Last year, a similar partnership between the two companies saw the sale of more than 70,000 smartphones using M-KOPAs fintech platform, which has financed more than 2 million clients across Africa.
Under this arrangement, customers can choose from up to 11 smartphone models made by either Samsung or Nokia for which they can get financing for a year. They will also receive a free 50MB of data every day from MTN.
Devices are a necessity for the digital age
The flexible payment option allows customers to opt for a daily, weekly, or monthly payment plan for the device they choose to purchase.
MTN Uganda’s High-Value Segment Marketing Manager, Ian Mugambe, said that the partnership will enable the public to acquire smartphones in a financially convenient way that does not interrupt their cash flows. “With the current digital evolution, a smartphone is more than just a phone. It is an enabler for work, business, education and access to a wealth of information that can help people get ahead in life. However, many people fail to own smartphones due to the high cost of purchase. Therefore, by availing of such a flexible payment solution coupled with free daily data, we believe many more people will now find owning a smartphone much easier.” Ian said.
A track record for offering credit
As one of Africa’s financing platforms, M-KOPA has provided more than $600 million worth of credit across an assortment of products and financial-related services to its clients.
The two companies have a shared vision of providing avenues for customers to access affordable device deals in today’s market. By demonstrating its commitment towards breaking the barriers to smartphone penetration in Uganda, MTN is enabling its clients to access an affordable yet reliable internet experience.
Brenda Nambalirwa, M-KOPA’s Uganda spokeswoman, noted that the partnership has already proven to be a successful means of accelerating smartphone penetration and digital inclusion in the country. “Affordable payment solutions for our customers, who would ordinarily find it difficult to access credit or save large deposits, can now instantly have a 4G smartphone in their hands and connect to the internet for a myriad of services. Many of our customers are doing so for the very first time.” she added.