IT and Telecoms: Airtime for the Holiday Season
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It’s an eternal problem and it’s especially acute over the December/January break. You’re sitting on a beach or you’re halfway up a mountainside and suddenly you discover that you’re out of cellular airtime. There’s relief in sight this holiday season, though in the form of the SWAP Wallet, a convenient new option on offer to South African prepaid airtime users.
Pretoria-based SWAP Mobile has launched its multi-functional SWAP Wallet as a free facility available on every South African cellphone. This holiday season, though, it’s going to hold the most appeal for those who’d like to be able to buy airtime for any network, wherever they are and at any time of the day or night. Airtime vouchers are delivered by SMS and can be used by the receiving phone or forwarded to another phone. This means that a subscriber on one network can buy airtime as a gift for a user on a different network.
Cellphone users activate their SWAP Wallets free by dialling *130*1313# and following a series of on-screen prompts. Wallet holders can add funds to their Wallets by electronic bank transfer at no charge, or can set up a debit order-based facility that allows them to use their phone to request funds from their own bank accounts. Holders of MasterCard and VISA credit cards and cheque cards can link these cards to the Wallet and have Instant Airtime purchases charged directly to the cards.
In addition, one Wallet holder can initiate a free Wallet-to-Wallet transfer to another user’s Wallet. According to SWAP Sales and Marketing Manager Josh Loock, electronic bank transfers and Wallet-to-Wallet transfers are ideal ways for parents to apportion airtime allowances to their children. “The fact,” says Loock, “that users can also buy Instant Airtime vouchers and forward them to family, friends and employees as gifts is going to make a lot of people’s Christmas shopping much simpler this year.”
“And,” he continues, “the fact that the product is bought right from the cellphone, and is available instantly 24 hours a day with a choice of cashless payment methods, means it’s probably the most convenient airtime solution on the market.”
The SWAP Wallet is also rolling out across South Africa as a versatile mobile payment system that will be widely available for payments to retailers and other businesses early in 2009.
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