Airtel Rwanda subscribers will now be able to access up to Rwf50,000 in soft loans after the telco unveiled a micro-money lending platform in conjunction with Atlantis Limited, a micro-finance institution.
New Times Rwanda reports that the service dubbed ‘Igurize Amafaranga’, will give subscribers a two-week period to repay the loan.
Speaking at the launch of the service in Kigali, Phillip Onzoma, the head of Airtel Money, said there was a growing need for financial institutions to partner with telecom companies to extend financial services to all Rwandans.
“While Rwanda has one of the highest banking penetration rates in the region, the mobile phone is increasingly becoming a trusted device for financial transactions, such as payments, transfers, card-less withdrawals and credit facilities,” he said.
The pioneering service will allow unbanked subscribers access credit at a 10 per cent facilitation cost.
“This product is in line with the country’s vision to grow financial inclusion and access to financial services as a way to improve the lives of Rwandans. “Igurize Amafaranga” will provide instant access to needed financial intervention and is a reliable source of credit in moments of emergency,” Onzoma added.
Raissa Muyango, the managing director of Atlantis Rwanda, said the service is convenient as one can borrow money without presenting any collateral, especially during emergencies.
To qualify for the micro-loan, one has to be an Airtel customer with active voice, Internet or airtel money services.
“The facility is a time-saving and affordable way of borrowing since people borrow similar amounts from individuals at a 20 per cent interest payable in a week (Banque Lambert),” said Dennis Kimenyi, one of the subscribers who attended the launch of the facility.