Airtel Zambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with local money lender Unity Finance and Shanyos, a mobile handset distributor, to provide customers with loans specifically meant to purchase mobile phones.
Airtel Mobile Money Director James Chona said that the partnership that has been created has helped the company to come up with a lot of innovate approaches and solutions that will benefit the communities they save.
He says a phone has become essential tool in our today lives and that to afford a good phone becomes very difficult sometimes as for customers hence the Unifone initiative is in line with the vision to connect the people to each other even as the world is evolving in doing business using mobile phones.
“We have come to understand the importance of strategic partnership that we have here today. It is for this reason today that we have an exciting day where technology links with the financial sector and bringing this partnership that will enable customers access a loan to buy a phone.
With mobile phones, we all know that there is a huge potential to leverage digital technology and bridge the gap especially for informal sector and those living and working in rural areas. So this facility that we are looking at is in line with our digital financial inclusion strategy where we want to make sure that everybody out there can actually have access to digital financial services,” he said.
He added that the push of digital financial services was about creating access and affordable products and services to financially include the large population.
And UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) country representative –Nandini Harihareswara said, “with mobile phones, we know that there is huge potential to leverage on digital technologies and reach the informal sector especially those living and working in the rural areas.
Since the push of digital financial services is about creating access and affordable products and services to financially include the populations at large, we see this partnership as a great opportunity for customers to own phones and thus empowering them.”
The partners revealed that to qualify, one should possess an original National Registration Card, driver’s license or passport, a Facebook account with a minimum of 30 friends and must have a registered Airtel sim card as well as an Airtel money account.