Prepaid and Postpaid are Dead!

Woman looking down reaching for her glasses

Welcome to the Subscription World

We now live in a subscription economy.

Amazon Dash buttons are just the start. In a couple years (if not already!) hundreds of virtual ‘dash’ buttons will be right there on our fridge display screens. The “eggs” button has turned red and needs my attention – the camera knows they are out of date, and I really should re-order. I have eggs on manual, as storage space is limited, and I travel a lot, so I don’t want my fridge to re-order without my say so.

Elsewhere in my kitchen, my garbage bags have re-ordered themselves, based on the bimonthly schedule I set. Alexa told me about the re-order this morning, and, as I didn’t object, a new box is being packed and shipped for me.

Elsewhere in my house, my razor blade supplier just notified me this morning that a new box of blades is on it’s way. Except I still have a full pack, so I clicked one button and PAUSED the delivery until next month.

Anyone else live their lives like that? Now?

man in a business suit looking glib with is thumbs pointing towards himself

“Plan”ing for the Future

Ever since the 1980’s and 90’s, telcos have lived on a diet of “plans”. A new user? Low need for the service? Live in a cash based emerging economy where connectivity competes with food, beverages and cigarettes for share of the daily or weekly wallet? You are probably a PREPAID user.

How about the more advanced cities and countries of the world? Do you need an always on connection? Consume a huge amount of data and stream video and TV content? Perhaps you are a business user? You are probably a POSTPAID user.

The whole notion of these plans was first based on the number of CALLS you need to make. Then SMS came along, and monetisation moved to bundles or bolt-ons of texts. Then, DATA – and the race to educate customers as to what is a MEG versus a GIG was on!  

What’s Next?

As our telecom needs become more complex – and we need multiple connected devices beyond the smartphone to enable our seamless “in-home” and “out-home” connectivity – will the traditional ‘plan’ be a thing of the past?

I’d say it was going to go the same way as the Dodo!

illustration of a dodo

Control is something that people do not have over their post-paid bundle right now. And prepaid is time consuming to manage, particularly when you grow your numbers of connections exponentially away from the smartphone.

So, what are consumers looking for (now) that does not exist in most markets?

That’s right – control. And flexibility. Customers want the ability to remain committed to a brand, but have that brand provide you a service that you can amend, alter and interact with – every day!  

Imagine a World…

Why can’t telcos do this now?

They can! They could! They should! Except most of them don’t have systems that allow this.  

  • Imagine a world where you can increase the amount of data you need for April (you are streaming that new box set you are addicted to on the train to work every day). Yet in May, you are travelling for two weeks, so you need to set your data back to the base level. Control.

  • Imagine a world where you are travelling to country X – so the app on your device instantly allocates the right roaming plan and bills your account. No bill shock when you return. Control.

  • Imagine a world where you want to subscribe to the new show that your converged telco has just released as part of their “content-first” strategy? You can literally click a button from an email they send you and the subscription shows in your Account Management App. Flexibility.

Are these ways of doing business beyond some companies? Amazon, Netflix, Dollar Shave Club to name but three? No?

So why does your telco not offer these solutions?

They will. Hopefully soon, but some of them are IN DENIAL about the scale of the challenge facing them from a digital transformation standpoint.

Enabling Transformation

As an enabler of that transformation, Maplewave is well positioned to assist your retail needs, as what comes down this pipe will be felt and needed in retail too! The BEST telcos are already moving to best-in-class systems that far usurp the capability of their legacy platforms.  

In our case, we empower your transformation through seamless API connectivity and fast integrations to new and legacy billing stacks, prepaid systems and CRMs. This enables a seamless experience across consumer self-service apps, online channels, or retail stores with a common API layer – and the right capability/interface to serve your customer when they need it.

Contact us if you’d like to know more about how to move to the subscription economy.

Offering insight and concrete solutions for telcos looking to take their business to the next level.

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