Ant Cellular, Ghana’s first universal toll-free service provider, has launched a digital platform via which Ghanaians can easily purchase and borrow mobile airtime across all networks.
The iBorrow (www.iborrow.club) platform is available in-app and USSD (shortcode) forms to serve all types of clients around the country.
It may be accessed by USSD by dialing *426#, and the app is called iBorrow on the Google Play Store.
Ant Cellular’s Founder and Managing Director, Eyome Ackah, told TechGh24 that the platform is primarily designed to sell airtime, but customers can also accumulate points by purchasing airtime on the platform, and then borrow airtime based on how many points they have accumulated and pay later to keep the airtime loan portfolio running.
“For every GHC100 spent on iBorrow over time, the consumer receives one point equal to GHC1 that he or she can borrow in the form of airtime and payback later,” he explained.
According to him, once a customer borrows airtime, the site would attempt to collect 50GP daily from the customer’s mobile wallet starting the next day until the debt is fully repaid.
Only MTN Mobile Money allows you to reimburse borrowed airtime at the moment. Repayments using Vodafone Cash and AirtelTigo Money will be enabled in the near future. In the meanwhile, Vodafone and AirtelTigo customers will be able to refund their debts through airtime deduction, according to Eyome Ackah.
“If we try the deduction and you don’t have any money in your wallet, we’ll try every day until you finish repaying,” he stated.
The platform, according to Eyome Ackah, has not been formally established yet, but it is highly busy, with multiple mobile phone customers using it to acquire airtime.
He added that, in the future, pending regulatory clearances, the business plans to add other capabilities to the platform, including the ability for users to borrow money in times of need and repay it later, as well as device financing for loyal customers.
“We feel our platform gives phone users in Ghana a better deal since we have built a club of users who own a loan portfolio from which club members can borrow airtime and pay it back within a 90-day period,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ant Cellular continues to provide universal toll-free lines to a number of business organizations, allowing their clients on all networks to contact their customer care at no cost.
Some companies can get toll-free numbers to work on one telco but not the other, but Ant Cellular, which is licensed by the National Communications Authority (NCA) and has relationships with all of the telcos, can acquire and connect tollfree lines to all networks.
Currently, the company provides toll-free services on 0800XXXXX number block for some multinationals, local banks, and insurance companies.