South African telco, Vodacom, has launched a new affordable prepaid device offering for its customers that will see barriers to entry for more aspirational smartphones fall by the wayside. The high price of smartphones has long been an inhibitor for the majority of prepaid customers. Vodacom has taken an active step in driving financial and digital inclusion by now providing such customers the opportunity to purchase a 4G smartphone with an option to pay over a period of 12 months with zero interest.
“Many people in the country cannot afford high-tech smartphones or don’t want to commit to a contract,” says Vodacom Financial Services Chief Officer, Mariam Cassim. “This is why we are excited to announce our new prepaid device offer which empowers customers to manage their spend, without being tied to a contract, giving them flexibility and full control, while at the same time enabling them to purchase a smartphone by paying it back over a few months.”
Commenting on the initiative, Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business Unit, adds: “ensuring the affordability of more high-tech mobile devices will not only increase smartphone penetration and data adoption, but it is also an important step in ensuring digital inclusion for all, especially in emerging markets such as our own.”
With the customer at the forefront of this proposition the application process is short, simple and easy, with no added paperwork or long waiting times. Vodacom will communicate directly with eligible customers, based on their current prepaid airtime / data spend and length of time on the Vodacom network.
Eligible customers are required to pay a 10% deposit and Vodacom will deliver the handset to the customer within two to three working days. This payment plan will initially be available on a range of 4G Samsung phones including the Galaxy J4, A1, and A2, with the lower end device priced at R799 and the higher end device priced at R2 999, over 12 months respectively. It is envisaged that this offer will extend to other devices in time.