Vodafone Egypt is collaborating with Citibank Egypt to launch a cobranded credit card that will enable customers to take out small loans at the telco’s outlets in Egypt, the companies announced last week.

The Visa-card is available only to Vodafone subscribers and to non-Citibank customers, according to a Nov. 3 statement. The card will enable customers to make a loan request for Vodafone purchases ranging from 500 Egyptian pounds (US$87 or 62 euros) to 7,000 Egyptian pounds.

Having already been approved for a card loan helps speed up the processing time for the short-term loans. Citibank will approve the loans within one hour, much faster than the standard 10-day approval period. It will provide borrowers six months of interest-free payments.

The loans will help enable Egyptian customers to purchase smart phones, such as Apple Inc. iPhones or Research in Motion Inc.’s Blackberry phones, who otherwise might not be able to afford them, Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Vodafone Egypt, noted in the statement. The card will be available at Vodafone outlets.

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