Go ahead, Tell Someone, scratching is now a thing of the past! Well, that’s the message from Telecel. Earlier this week the Telecel e-Juice platform was launched as an electronic way to top up airtime credit for any Telecel prepaid subscriber.
Selected airtime vendors can now sell airtime simply by transferring the amount the subscriber wants to pay for directly to the phone number they want to credit.
One huge benefit is the use of a more transparent airtime distribution system that can be monitored for any fraudulent practices, something that Telecel must surely be very considerate of now.
Any airtime amount (even as low as 1 cent) can be paid for, which is something that subscribers don’t have the liberty of doing with recharge cards that have fixed values. At least the new coins being introduced by the RBZ will be of some use thanks to these low airtime value purchases.
Even the Telecel mobile money agents selling airtime this way are benefiting from an easier electronic wholesale purchase of airtime.
This PIN-less electronic airtime recharge or “hot recharge” isn’t new technology though. Service providers like Easi, txt.co.zw and Hot Recharge have been in the market for a while now, providing the same electronic airtime vendor opportunity across four networks (Africom, Econet, NetOne and Telecel).
The significant bit here is that Telecel has made this one of their main recharge options by rolling it out through its airtime agent network. The other e-option for subscribers which is buying airtime via the telecash mobile money will still be available though.
There is no indication whether the other networks will be keen on such an e-transition as well, even though this looks like a cheaper and easier channel for pushing airtime credit.
Perhaps networks want to hold on to cards for their product opportunities like the Buddie Recharge, Scratch and Win Promotion? Or perhaps the strategy is to get all of us to eventually buy airtime via mobile money.
What are your thoughts on the Telecel e-Juice platform? Would you want the networks to do away with the recharge cards completely?