, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Pay Television Company StarTimes Media and Equity Bank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) that will see the bank’s customers across the country access soft loans to purchase digital television set top boxes from StarTimes.
The loans can be repaid through a flexible six month installment plan.
Through this partnership, Equity Bank customers will have access to a soft loan of up to Sh5, 000 enabling them acquire either a StarTimes Free to Air set top box that is currently retailing at Sh4, 999 or the Pay Television option currently retailing at Sh3, 499.
Both set top boxes will be inclusive of a one month Unique plus Bouquet offer that retails at Sh2, 499 giving them access to over 70 premium television channels.
StarTimes Media Chief Executive Officer Leo Lee says the move will ease the pressure of acquiring the devices at one go especially for the low income earners.
“Our multi-sectoral 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.
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 devise 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 48 hours.
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.
This comes as the cost of set top boxes continues to be seen as prohibitive to many low income households with the cost ranging between Sh4, 000 to Sh6, 000 depending on the functionality.
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.
The Communications Commissions of Kenya on Friday cautioned Kenyans over some counterfeit set top boxes for digital television broadcasting.
CCK Director General Francis Wangusi says there have been complaints of Kenyans purchasing the set top boxes which later fail to function.
Wangusi maintained that CCK has only licensed 45 vendors with specific offices for customers to lodge complains incase of machines hitches.
He says due to the high current demand, some trader may want to con Kenyans by selling fake set to boxes.
Wangusi was speaking during the launch of the Commission’s strategic plan for 2013 to 2018.