Mobile Is Your Best Belt-Tightening Friend, Says WASPA

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Men holding a cellphone in his hands
Men holding a cellphone in his hands (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

Mobiles used to be worn on belts, now they help tighten them. That’s according to the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association of SA (WASPA) which says the cellphone has become the consumer’s best budgeting friend.

“SA’s mobile industry has come a long way since there were a mere handful of contract packages available and prepaid cellular came in at R2.75 a minute. Today, there is robust competition amongst network operators and significant economies of scale are being realised with South Africa having over 22 million smartphone users alone,” says WASPA chair, Anthony Ekerold.

Consumers in 2019 benefit from the twin advantages of plummeting mobile costs as well as the greater budgeting efficiency that cellular technology enables.

During his recent Budget Speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni again warned of a bumpy ride for most of us this year, as economic growth remains stubbornly below the two percent mark. WASPA highlights five ways consumers can proactively use their mobiles to stay in the black:

1. Select a bank that offers a mobile-friendly, scaled-down version of Internet Banking so you really can check your balances on the go, and preferably in the checkout queue!

2. Use your bank’s mobile banking app to enable SMS notifications of big purchases. Set the bar at a reasonable level so you don’t receive a text message informing you of every Cappuccino purchase.

3. Collect the bank details of every regular service provider you use, from the local handyman to the garden service. Insist on mobile EFT payments to save on cash withdrawal fees and on the cost of driving to the ATM. Ensure your bank offers an immediate payment option so people can be paid on the spot, without disputes.

4. With load-shedding back to bite us, keep a charger permanently in the car. This way you’ll always be able to efficiently pay people and transfer money around at the lowest cost without having to hunt for an ATM with back-up power or find a working wall plug.

5. It’s usually cheaper to pay bills before they are due. New mobile bearers like RCS (rich communication services) enable service providers to send consumers easy payment links direct to their mobiles. Make sure you do not ignore payment requests and always check your cellphone’s inbox to keep financially up-to-date.

WASPA is the industry association for South Africa’s mobile content and application providers. Membership of WASPA is compulsory for anyone wanting to transact with the customers of South Africa’s mobile network operators. The organisation was founded in 2004 to self-regulate the then fledgling mobile value-added services sector. At the end of 2018, WASPA had over 400 members.

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