Standard Bank is entering the airtime and data market with the launch on Wednesday of its first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service, Standard Bank Mobile.
Standard Bank will be providing wireless communications services under its own brand – SB Mobile – and will be using wireless capacity from mobile operators Cell C and MTN.
With the MVNO space fiercely competitive in SA at the moment, Standard Bank Mobile CEO Stephen Bailey said SB Mobile offers an integrated service, which rewards subscription customers with free airtime and data for doing something they do every day – bank customers also earn free data every time they use their credit, cheque or debit cards.
“We have also done away with data bundles, customers can select the data price that suits them, with no expiry. Data pricing is from 5 cents per MB. Pricing relief comes as consumers face immense pressure from high data costs and general increases of goods in the wake of a rise in VAT this year.
“Communication costs are reduced as an SB Mobile client receives free airtime and data based on their specific account tier and the number of times they transact.”
You will need to be a Standard Bank customer to be a part of the network.
How it works
Signed up customers to SB Mobile will not be held to terms and conditions to get their airtime or data. Rewards are tiered so that every time they transact they get something back – 1MB of data is given back for every R10 spent on all transactional cards, for instance, at a monthly fee of R39.
Youth and inclusive banking clients will pay no fee, however.
Tiers are based on Elite (R105 free airtime), Prestige (R205), private and professional (R369) and Wealth & Signature (R469 in free airtime).
All credit card transactions for signed up SB Mobile clients qualify for 1MB for every R10, and R100 free airtime for the R39 monthly fee.
“We are widening the digital banking experience for customers across the organisation and our intention is to significantly enhance the value they receive. We are combining free voice and data with cutting edge financial services to deliver exceptional banking experiences and value,” said Montjane.
While Cell C is the network operator currently in use, the bank said it remains open to other network providers in the future as it expands and adds additional services with a view of extending the offering across Africa.
SB Mobile plans to provide handsets in the first quarter of 2019 and to add broadband services – like fixed LTE and fibre – shortly afterwards.
The current service will provide a branded SIM card with a new number, while existing cell numbers can also be retained.
An example of how it works
John Smith has a Private banking account. He qualifies for the Private account Flexi deal which entitles him to R350 free airtime monthly (the equivalent of his bank account fee) for a R39 per month subscription fee.
John is a mobile savvy customer and chose Data Option 2 at R69.00 and Voice Option 3 at R79.00 which means that he has R202 free airtime left to use for calls and data.
His R202 free airtime will deplete at R0.12 per MB and at R0.79 per minute. Once his free airtime is finished, his spend limit (which is capped at R1500) will kick in at the same voice and data rates
The rates are detailed below