Getsmart, a German MVNO that was launched earlier this year, has announced a new system whereby prepaid customers who obtained their cards through automobile services provider ADAC can now manage their accounts with a mobile app, available for iPhone and Android. Users can download the app and then log in to find out how much credit they have, to top up, and to change plan options.
This offering is just another piece of evidence of the growing vigor of prepaid services in general, and a good move by the operator. In our view, any effort to make the prepaid experience more user-friendly will not be wasted. For operators, there is nothing but upside in creating prepaid-account-management apps, and we encourage any MNO or MVNO that hasn’t already done so to follow Getsmart’s lead.
Furthermore, the idea of an app for prepaid serves as a reminder of the fact that high-end devices and services, which used to be available postpaid only, are increasingly available on a prepaid basis. Economic uncertainty, the desire among both consumers and businesses to keep expenses variable, and the ever-more-rapid proliferation of attractive new devices, has led many affluent and sophisticated users to choose not to be locked into long-term postpaid contracts. We expect this trend to accelerate in the months ahead.