Every Kenyan can now own a smartphone, thanks to Safaricom’s M-Shwari in partnership with phone manufacturers; which will enable M-Shwari customers to borrow loans to buy smartphones and tablets at the Safaricom outlets.
Customers will be able to get phones ranging from between Ksh. 1000 to Ksh. 50000 on selected mobile devices from Huawei, Tecno, LG and Samsung.
One must be an M-Shwari customer to eligible for the loan, the customers will deposit 30 percent of the device cost to the M-Shwari savings account before getting the loan and pay the balance within six months. Together with the total amount of the device price, customers are subjected to a fee of 15.6 percent.
For every overdue loan instalment, defaulters will be charged Ksh. 200 or a possibility of the Telco company to discontinue a defaulter from calling or sending SMSes, using data services and obtaining Okoa Jahazi airtime, and ultimately disabling the device.
This move is to encourage people to use data services as currently Safaricom is looking at making money through its recently upgraded data services. The telco spent Ksh400 million to subsidise smartphones and tablets in the year ended March 2014 that increased its Internet subscribers to 3.1 million, boosting data sales.
Apart from data sales the Telco made Sh4.9 billion in the year from sale of handsets.
According to Safaricom, breaking the price barrier jointly with handset manufacturers has enabled the growth of the number of smartphones in our network to 3.1 million this year from just over 400,000 in 2012.
The telco giant, which has 21 million subscribers, also said it has about 400,000 active modem users and 120,000 tablet users who consume data on the go.