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Partnerships that Work: Capitec Connect to Change the Prepaid Game

Monday, 26 September 2022

Data is finally falling! Capitec, South Africa's best digital bank, is disrupting the prepaid market with the launch of Capitec Connect: a simplified prepaid solution for voice, data and SMS. Just as Capitec became a challenger within banking, they are now questioning the norms for prepaid mobile data and airtime.

At R4.50 per 100 Megabytes or R45 per Gigabyte, Capitec Connect data is on average 50% below the normal market price, and the rates remain flat whether clients buy small or large quantities. The data also never expires provided the SIM is used at least once in 6 months, which means that Capitec clients never lose what they paid for.

Gerrie Fourie, chief executive officer of Capitec, says, "South Africans have been complaining about the cost of data. It's expensive and complicated. Bundle pricing, off-peak and peak rates, and the fact that your data expired are all things that make no sense. We're changing this by giving our clients access to a mobile solution that is simpler to understand, much more affordable and can be recharged easily on our digital channels."

The prepaid solution, a partnership with Cell C, seeks to bring digital inclusivity. "Our vision is to bring connectivity to all. We want to help create opportunity for everyone to be able to connect with access to affordable data and digital banking anywhere, anytime." says Fourie.

"It is through partnerships such as the one between Capitec and Cell C that we can make a major difference in bridging the digital divide that still exists in our country and we're very pleased to be part of the solution that enables South Africans to access a digital lifestyle that can truly change their world," says Cell C chief executive officer, Douglas Craigie Stevenson.

Two of South Africa's most common hashtags have long been #DataMustFall and #DataAsseblief, demonstrating the nation's cry for the lowering of exorbitant data costs.

Regulations proposed in 2017 by ICASA and the National Consumer Commissioner advocated for data to remain valid for at least three years. These proposed regulations were later removed from the charter and replaced with more lenient provisions. Capitec is now leading the change by addressing this issue head-on.

Capitec Connect is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service on the Cell C network. An MVNO provides cellular services to its clients without owning the network infrastructure. SIM cards are available to clients at all Capitec branches and clients can get up to 5 SIM cards linked to their profile, which makes it easy to give access to data and airtime to family members.

Once the SIM is activated, data, minutes, SMS' and airtime can be topped up on the Capitec banking app, using *120*3279# or internet banking. Calls are charged at the low flat rate of 90c per minute, while SMSs cost only 25c. Airtime never expires, provided the SIM is used once every 6 months.

Fourie concludes, "It's in our DNA to do what is best for our clients. We continue to change the game in banking by asking 'why?' and making it simple to help people live better. Now we believe we can also change the game in the way people connect."

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