November 30, 2013. Equity bank customers around the country will now have access to a soft loan to buy top box from Pay Television Company StarTimes media and repay through a six month installment plan.
The Ksh 5,000 loan will enable the banks customers acquire either a StarTimes Free to Air set top box that is currently retailing at Ksh 4,999 or the Pay Television option currently retailing at Ksh 3,499 both of which will be inclusive of a one month Unique Plus Bouquet offer that retails at Ksh 2,499 giving them access to over 70 Premium television channels.
During the ceremony, StarTimes Media CEO Mr Leo Lee said the partnership will ease pressure on customers, especially the low income earners, on acquiring the devices.
“Our multi-sectorial partnership will go a long way in enabling thousands of Kenyans who will be affected by the switch off to migrate to the digital television platform. Despite the subsidy provided on our decoders, we continue to look into ways in which more Kenyans will have access to StarTimes digital television service,” said Lee.
The partnership is aimed at enabling Kenyan households to conveniently acquire set top boxes ahead of the analogue television signal switch off whose first phase is expected to kick off on December 13th with the rest of the country expected to have migrated by 30th June 2014.
The cost of set top boxes continues to be seen as prohibitive to many low income households with the cost ranging between Ksh 4,000 to 6,000 depending on the functionality.
Equity Bank Chief Operating Officer Julius Kipng’etich acknowledged the move will go a long way in supporting Kenyans to migrate to the new digital platform and enable them to continue enjoying Television after the cutoff date.
“We are delighted with this partnership, as the country gears to migrate from analogue to digital television platform; we seek to facilitate the acquisition of set top boxes. Interested customers will go through normal credit vetting where we anticipate to take a maximum of three days before the customer acquires his/her device of choice,” noted Kipng’etich
“The partnership will also see the two organizations share respective strengths, experiences, technologies and resources to foster higher return on investments for both companies through increased revenues,” he added
Customers will be required to pick a proforma invoice from any StarTimes retailer and visit any Equity Bank branch for credit review. Equity Bank will get back to the customer within 48hrs.The Bank will then liaise with StarTimes whereby, upon successful review the customer will be issued with a collection form which will enable them pick the set top box at their preferred retailer.
Based on one’s ability to repay the loan, a customer will be in a position to apply for one or more StarTimes set top boxes.
The demand for set top boxes is set to rise ahead of the Phase one switch off in Nairobi as the country seeks to beat the 17th July, 2015 global deadline- a universal undertaking set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) where consumers will then be able to enjoy high quality video and audio reception while growing the number of Free to Air channels thanks to the more efficient use of existing spectrum.
With over 8.5 million bank accounts, Equity is the leading bank by customer base across Africa and operates in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tannzania.
It was also the first bank to introduce EMV compliant ATM cards in the country and played a lead role in championing agency banking in Kenya. In 2011, Equity Bank was named Africa’s Most Innovative Bank by the African Banker for championing delivery channels that have taken financial services to the last mile.
By Mutuiri Gitonga