The deal is the latest in a series of mobile-based micro credit services seeking to tap into millions of unbanked users on the continent and comes less than a year after Safaricom launched a M-Shwari, a mobile phone credit service launched in partnership with CBA.
Airtel, which has more than five million subscribers on its network and mobile money platform, has launched in Nairobi to begin with, but will further roll it out countrywide in the coming months.
AFB will be seeking to leverage on the strong countrywide market presence of Airtel to grow its market in Kenya, as it plans to roll out operations in the regional countries of Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.
“We are confident that this service will enable Airtel subscriber’s access affordable and instant credit to purchase merchandise and comfortably pay for the same over a period of up to six months for certain products,” said Johan Bosini, AFB managing director for mobile.
Shivan Bhargava, Airtel Kenya managing director, said the partnership was timely and significant to the company’s customers as it would diversify their product offering.
“As a company, we are committed to entering strategic partnerships that meet the ever changing needs of our subscribers. We are keen on being part of the everyday life of our very esteemed customers. This partnership will allow Airtel customers to easily access meaningful financial services from afb through convenient channels,” said Bhargava.