Ghana’s maiden universal tollfree service provider, AntCellular has introduced a digital platform on which Ghanaians can conveniently purchase mobile airtime on all networks and even borrow some in times of need.
The platform, dubbed iBorrow (www.iborrow.club), is available in, app and USSD (short code) formats to suit all classes of customers across the country.
It is accessible on USSD via *426#, while in the Google Play Store the app is iBorrow.
Founder and Managing Director of AntCellular, Eyome Ackah told TechGh24 the platform is basically intended to sell airtime but customers can also build points when they use the platform to purchase airtime, and then in time of need, one can borrow airtime based on how much points they have accumulated and pay later to keep the airtime loan portfolio running.
“For every GHC100 spent on iBorrow over time, the customer gets one point equivalent to GHC1, which he or she can borrow in the form of airtime and pay later,” he said.
According to him, once the customer borrows the airtime, the platform would start trying to make 50Gp daily deductions from the customer’s mobile wallet from the next day, until one finishes repaying.
Currently, repayment of borrowed airtime is available on only MTN Mobile Money. Vodafone Cash and AirtelTigo Money repayments will be enabled in due course. But in the meantime, repayment from Vodafone and AirtelTigo customers will be available via Airtime deduction, said Eyome Ackah.
“If we try the deduction and there is no money in your wallet, we will keep trying every day until you finish repaying,” he said.
Eyome Ackah noted that the platform has not been formally launched yet but it is very active and several mobile phone users are using it as their platform of choice for airtime purchase.
He said, going forward, and after regulatory approvals, the company intends to add more features to the platform to make it possible for users to even borrow money in times of need and pay back later, adding that handset financing is also planned for loyal customers.
“We believe phone users in Ghana get a better deal using our platform because we have created a club of users who own a loan portfolio from which club members can borrow airtime and pay back within a 90-day period,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the tollfree side, AntCellular continues to offer universal tollfree lines to a number corporate organizations, that allows their customers on all networks to call their customer service at no cost to the customer.
Some companies are able to get tollfree numbers working on one telco or the other, but AntCellular, which is licensed by National Communications Authority (NCA) and has contracts with all the telcos, and therefore serves as a one-stop-shop for acquiring and connecting tollfree lines to all networks.
Currently the company provides tollfree services on 0800XXXXX number block for some multinationals, local banks and insurance companies.