MTN has become the first telecommunication company in Uganda to allow its users to purchase and acquire a device through payments in installments, a modus that has only been available in the more developed countries.
The payment and acquisition system known as “Pay mpola mpola” allows the users to acquire a smartphone and pay for the same over a specific period of time and according to the Chief Marketing Officer of MTN, Sen Somdev, the idea behind the easy payment system is “to give Ugandans access to the internet through easing affordability of smartphone, at payment terms which are manageable”.
It is however strictly only available to MTN customers (with eligibility guided by how long a user has been on the network and has used MTN services) and allows customers to acquire the device after making the first low initial payment and the rest of the balance paid later in multiple monthly installments. At the first installment, the user is able to take the device with them.
Payments are to be made within 6 (six) months at most at the end of every 30 days but the user can choose to pay the same in lesser installments. However, all installments have to be made via mobile money with an implication that only the customer who has acquired the phone is the one that pays, making it impossible for someone to pay for you, unless if the money from the third party is deposited into the phone of the purchaser.
Currently, the offer to acquire a phone in installments in available for the recently unveiled 4G MTN Kabode, on a pilot to kickstart the plan. The company in its statement boasts that the Kabode is a high speed internet smartphone that allows users to install several apps on it including WhatsApp and Tidal.
Pay mpola mpola according to the statement has so far started in select parts of the country (parts not specifically mentioned in the statement), and would be rolled out to the rest of the country at a later date.
Customers who acquire the phone in installments also get to receive free internet data whenever they make an installment payment.