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Airtime-Based Credit Scoring – How to Drive Customer Growth and Engagement

Through airtime-based credit scoring, mnos can safely and incrementally offer credit to existing customers without taking on exorbitant risk. Read more here!
March 23, 2023

According to the World Bank, around 2 billion individuals around the world remain unbanked and have no bank account. These people struggle to access basic banking services like loans and credit and are drastically underserved by these financial institutions.

MNOs, with their vast access to customer data, are in a unique position to step in and help bridge the gap between banks and the underbanked. Airtime-based credit scoring is the way to do this.

Through airtime-based credit scoring, MNOs can safely and incrementally offer credit to existing customers without taking on exorbitant risk and ultimately increase their bottom line.

Dubbed the “mobile identity market”, credit profiling based on advanced airtime usage represents a lucrative opportunity for pursuing new service avenues and growing their customer base.

Read on to learn how airtime-based credit scoring can help MNOs and the underbanked.

How Can Airtime-based Credit Scoring Help MNOs to Drive Customer Growth?


Many existing mobile phone customers around the world do not have access to a bank account for varying reasons, whether it’s due to lack of a registered national identity or difficulty applying for one online or in person. These people are effectively cut off and shut out of accessing traditional banking services.

MNOs have, for a long time now, been forced to re-examine their current service offerings of mobile, voice and data packages. MNO market saturation and stiff competition from alternative, free communication platforms have steadily been eating away at net revenue and driving customer churn.

By offering airtime-based credit scoring, MNOs double the value of their service offering to customers. Airtime-based credit scoring allows customers to access small advances in airtime when they’re in need and lack the necessary funds. They then pay the balance before accessing the next round of advanced airtime.

At the same time, MNOs track and monitor the state of payments of each customer through data harvesting, effectively creating a unique credit profile for each customer.

By paying their outstanding balance on time, customers can access the airtime they need when they need it and obtain a certifiable credit score based on their airtime usage. Access to these services will no doubt catch the interest of existing and potential customers and drive customer growth.

Airtime-based Credit Scoring as a Gateway to More Financial Services


The potential to tap into new revenue streams doesn’t stop with airtime-based credit scoring. Customers who show good repayment on their airtime loans can be specifically targeted for further credit offerings and financial services.

Advanced airtime and data lending can be offered as initial services for credit profiling. Customers with good credit scores can then be offered mobile money wallets as well mobile money loans.

Customers can access and use mobile money to make purchases, pay bills and subscriptions and send and receive money to and from their mobile money wallets.

For customers who show good repayment records on both airtime advance and data and mobile money loans, MNOs can offer handset financing.

Handset financing should only be offered to customers with a proven track record of repaying advancements and strong credit profiles. However, handset financing is beneficial in that it can encourage customers to make greater data purchases and utilise additional mobile services and features.

MNOs who offer airtime-based credit scoring, as well as these other financial services, will attract a larger customer base who are looking for access to credit and services beyond basic mobile purchases and packages, growing their existing customer base and reinforcing customer loyalty and retention.

Customers who can obtain loans through airtime, data and mobile money and a credit score will be less likely to jump to another service provider and more likely to recommend them to a friend or family member.

Changing Lives Through Mobile Identity Services

MNOs who offer mobile identity services such as airtime-based credit scoring are not only securing ongoing revenue, they are also helping to transform lives by providing access to lines of credit and credit profile creation and scoring.

MNOs looking to provide airtime-based credit scoring and other mobile financial services may understandably be hesitant to provide loans to customers until their credit scores are well-established.

A simple way to bypass this risk and still offer advancements and credit profiling is to partner with an external mobile financial services provider.

Airvantage is one of the largest, most established mobile financial service providers to MNOs across Africa. We specialise in:

●       Mobile wallets and mobile money lending

●       Advanced airtime and data lending

●       Agent lending and handset finance

●       Financial identity as a service

If you’d like to find out how Airvantage can assist you in providing airtime-based credit scoring and other mobile financial services, book a consultation with us.

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