Costly smart phones a barrier to digital growth
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
HIGH prices of smartphones have remained a major barrier for digital inclusion in Zambia, according to MTN Zambia Chief executive Officer, Bart Hofker.
Mr Hofker said it was for this reason that his company has partnered with Stanbic Bank Zambia to introduce flex payment plan for smart devices.
The two institutions have extended their partnership to include ‘device finance’, a solution that will allow customers to acquire smartphones, tablets and laptops from MTN with a flexible payment plan of up to 24 months.
“With this spread payment option, owning a smartphone becomes accessible to more people who will then be able to enjoy the benefits of a modern connected life.
“Our partnership with Stanbic aims to enhance digital and financial inclusion in Zambia, which are crucial factors for the digitalisation ambitions of the Zambian Government,” Mr Hofker said during the signing of the partnership.
MTN has a longstanding relationship with StanbicBank and the two have partnered on a number of services such as Bank to Mobile Wallet and virtual cards.
Both organisations contend that the relationship between the telecoms and financial sector is a symbiotic and complimentary one.
And Stanbic Bank’s Chief Executive, MwindwaSiakalima, said there was opportunity for the financial sector to partner with telecoms to deepen digital and financial inclusion.
“Stanbic Bank is excited to partner with MTN to drive Zambia’s growth in the digital revolution. In this regard, the two entities have come together to drive this important national agenda.
“This is demonstrated through our continued partnerships in digital financial services that embrace financial inclusion. By making it easy for our customers to access these devices in a more affordable structure we increase accessibility to the latest technology,” Mr Siakalima said.
He indicated that Stanbic Bank understands that digitisation plays a vital role in connecting communities and driving trade and commerce.