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Clientèle’s new MVNO seeks to disrupt insurance sector

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 28 Nov 2019

Financial products and services company Clientèle has introduced Clientèle Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service that promises data and airtime at discounted rates.

Founded in 2007, Clientèle offers a range of financial services products, including life cover, hospital cover, legal cover, personal loans and investment solutions, to its one million customers, who cover three million to four million people.

Clientèle says it is the first local insurer to introduce a mobile service. Introduced last week, the service is available to anyone living in SA, but its core target market is its client base, which stands to benefit further through the Clientèle Rewards programme.

The service, offered through an undisclosed “leading” network provider, offers multiple data and airtime packages, with more services to be added over time, says the company.

SIM cards can be purchased for R30 via the Clientèle app, or through its brokers, telesales agents and network marketing division. The insurance company has also set up kiosks in various shopping centres across the country, where customers can collect and RICA their SIM card.

“South Africa's smartphone penetration has nearly doubled over the last two years and is now sitting at over 80%, which means more people are looking for better data deals,” says Basil Reekie, group MD of Clientèle.

“This is an exceptionally exciting shift for us as a business and we believe it will lead to great results. Clientèle Mobile offers South Africans an opportunity to get connected with their loved ones for less. Rewarding conversations are only a Clientèle Mobile SIM card away.”

Data packages include 50MB, 100MB, 300MB, 500MB, 1GB, 2GB, and 5GB, while airtime is offered at any chosen amount. The service offers up to 20% discounts on data packages and between 25% and 35% discounts on airtime.

While there is an ability to do a SIM swop, there will be no porting of numbers from other networks on to Clientèle Mobile at first, although this service will be offered in due course, says the company.

According to ICT experts, SA’s MVNOs have not managed to disrupt the telecoms market as much as they had hoped, and yet new players keep trying.

"Although we are seeing a lot of activity in this space, with a number of players entering this market, the reality is that the SA MVNOs have thus far failed to significantly shake-up the mobile market, despite competitive offerings that were announced by operators,” says Ofentse Dazela, director of pricing research at Africa Analysis.

However, Clientèle is betting on its large customer base and future clients for success.

“We believe that with our name and client base, we will be able to make meaningful inroads into the market and offer existing clients and South African consumers, data and airtime at competitive rates. We look forward to disrupting the market over time as we set out to reward conversations,” notes Reekie.

The company is offering the first 10 000 members who purchase and activate their SIM card by 13 December, Clientèle Mobile Founder Member status. Founder Members are guaranteed to always receive a minimum discount of 25% on airtime and 15% on data every time they recharge their SIM on the Clientèle app.