Phone Credit Lending via SMS in the Philippines
According to Pyramid Research, mobile users in the Philippines use their phones less for talking, and more for texting (the country is the first to see money spent on SMS surpass that spent on voice). Now, network provider Globe Telecom is offering a mobile credit loan system that caters to its customers’ usage habits. With their Share-A-Load program, Globe allows its users to send (via SMS) their phone credits or “loads” to others running low. The service costs PHP 1 (about US .024) for each transaction and is available to prepaid and postpaid Globe subscribers. Donors simply contact an automated number, punch in their pin code, the recipient’s number, and how much money they’re giving and both parties are notified upon receipt. Share-a-Load is a good example of the applicability of SMS beyond just text messaging – something service providers can use to their advantage if they’re clever enough.