Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:37 pm
More than 141 million mobile subscribers in the country using feature phones can now upgrade to smartphones courtesy of Sterling Bank-MTN Pay Small Small device financing scheme launched in Lagos on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. Introduced by Sterling Bank Plc, MTN Nigeria and Technology Distributions Limited (TD), the new scheme democratises the acquisition of smartphones as well as access to the digital ecosystem through smartphones pre-bundled with data.
Only 13% of Nigeria’s 162 million mobile phone subscribers use Smartphones and have robust access to the Internet, social and business applications, among others.
Speaking at the media launch of Sterling-MTN Pay Small Small, Shina Atilola, Group Head of Strategy and New Business, Sterling Bank Plc, said “Knowledge and information transforms economies. Our collaboration with MTN Nigeria, Technology Distributions Limited and Payjoy to democratise access to smartphones will make knowledge and information accessible to millions of Nigerians which will improve their lives and well-being. It is important that a lot more Nigerians have the opportunity to engage in societal dialogues irrespective of their social class and education. A person without access to information cannot effectively grow a business, live well and contribute to the economy. We are excited about the strong partnerships forged to deliver Pay Small Small to improve the lives of our people while delivering social impact.”
Atilola further noted that the bank will continue to be at the forefront of seeking valuable partnerships that will enrich the lives of Nigerians. “At Sterling Bank, growing the economy remains our priority, and that is why we always design solutions that will translate into value for Nigerians. This alliance with MTN NIgeria, TD and Payjoy is a testament to the bank’s commitment to ensuring that every Nigerian is availed the opportunity to own a smart phone with all its attendant benefits which include Insurance cover and free data.”
Also speaking at the event, Gozy Ijogun, Managing Director, Technology Distributions Limited, expressed delight that her organisation is part of the partnership that will increase smartphone penetration with its attendant benefits to Nigerians who ordinarily cannot afford to pay the lump sum that is required to acquire these devices. “Things required for optimum living are paid upfront which makes life difficult for many Nigerians. What we are unveiling today is a revolutionary partnership which makes it possible and affordable for anyone to visit the MTN Nigeria experience centre close to them and walk out with the latest smartphone device with as low as N7,000 (Seven thousand Naira) monthly payment in less than 10 minutes.”
On his part, Abiodun Ajayi, Senior Manager, Data & Devices, MTN Nigeria, said “We believe everyday Nigerians deserve the benefit of a modern well-connected life. Nothing brings this to the fore more than a smartphone which eliminates the hassles associated with visiting cybercafes. However, 80% of Nigerian phone users are excluded and do not have access to smartphones because they cannot afford it. Today, we have unveiled a service that bridges the affordability gap. It will not only improve the lives of millions of Nigerians; this service will also ensure that Nigeria experiences rapid GDP growth.”
Lauding the partnership which will put high quality smartphones in the hands of everyday Nigerians, Dominique Friedl, General Manager, Africa, PAYJOY, said “This is a novel partnership with all stakeholders involved coming to the table to leverage collective strengths to improve the lives of Nigerians through digital and financial inclusion. Financial services is the lifeblood of every economy. However, only 5.3% adults have access to credit in Nigeria. The great reach of mobile technology in the country, Sterling-MTN Pay Small Small service which deploys PAYJOY’s locking technology provides an opportunity to provide financial services to millions of financially excluded Nigerians at lower and more affordable costs thereby boosting financial inclusion. This is about providing financing to millions of Nigerians and helping grow the Nigerian economy.”