Econet Wireless customers will soon be able to borrow money from a facility set up at TN Bank by the cell phone company to buy high end smartphones and tablets.
Customers will be able to upgrade their phones, which they can get from Econet Shops.
Under the scheme, up to 25 000 phones and tablets will be financed each month.
Econet Wireless, the country’s largest telecoms operator by market share and subscriber numbers, decided to start the scheme after realising that many of its customers were not enjoying the full capability of its 3G and WiMax services because their phones were not up to date.
Econet, which has more than three million customers connected on its mobile broadband system, wants them to use more Internet services.
For people to really enjoy high speed data services, they must have the most up to date phones, including tablets such as the Apple iPad, which are generally quite expensive.
Due to its strong balance sheet, Econet is able to extend loans to its customers, but it needs a bank as an intermediary.
In terms of the scheme which is being finalised with TN Bank – now owned by Econet Wireless – any Econet customer can apply for a small loan to buy a phone.
If approved by the bank, the customer can pay for the phone in 24 monthly instalments. The interest rate will also be lower than anything charged by local banks.
The scheme will reward primarily those customers who are heavy users of Econet and those who have been loyal users for a long time, as these will get the most amount of money when they apply for a loan.