Pick n Pay, MTN collaborate to launch SA’s newest MVNO

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SA’s second-largest supermarket chain store Pick n Pay today launched PnP Mobile, in partnership with MTN, which becomes the newest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the country.

PnP Mobile will run on MTN’s mobile network infrastructure to offer customers prepaid, SIM-based access to services, including airtime, data and SMS, as the new operator joins a list of MNVOs on the market, such as FNB Connect, Mr Price and Virgin Mobile, which have been piggybacking on Cell C’s network over the years.

PnP Mobile is the first operator to be carried by MTN since it entered the MVNO space last month.

The launch of PnP Mobile also comes as industry researchers, such as Prescient & Strategic Intelligence, say the global MVNO market is expected to reach $98 billion by 2023, due to the rapid growth of the triple play services in emerging economies, segment-targeted pricing strategies and innovative distribution.

With its MVNO, the grocery group says its customers will be able to register their new SIM card without any paperwork and within minutes through Pick n Pay’s new paperless RICA facility, expected to launch in 500 selected stores later this year.

It also says a tiered rewards system for Smart Shopper customers will enable them to earn up to 2.5GB in free data rewards each month.

“Mobile technology is core to South Africans’ way of life and an essential part of the monthly grocery shop. Our country has a very high mobile phone penetration, but data costs have been a barrier. We believe expanding our services to enter the mobile market will benefit millions of our customers.

“This is an outstanding innovation for our customers, and we’re very excited about the extra benefits they will earn,” says Richard van Rensburg, chief technology and services officer at Pick n Pay.

“Innovation has been absolutely central to creating South Africa’s favourite loyalty programme and this new Smart Shopper innovation means customers walk out of our stores with affordable groceries, points on their card and now free data on their PnP Mobile SIM card.”

The grocer also says Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper technology has enabled an efficient solution to link PnP Mobile rewards.

Instant data rewards will be determined by customers’ PnP Mobile spend, and will range from 250MB up to 2.5GB each month, depending on their tier.

“For example, if a customer topped up their PnP Mobile SIM card with R100 and spent R1 000 on groceries, they would earn 500MB in data rewards. The free data rewards are in addition to the data or airtime customers would have purchased with their R100 mobile spend.

“This gives Pick n Pay the ability to offer customers instant rewards, directly to their SIM, once completing payment at the till point. There is no delay in customers having to wait for a voucher.”

Quintus De Beer, executive for managed network services at MTN SA, says: “We recently launched our MVNO services and we are delighted to partner with Pick n Pay to offer customers more value and services.

“Customers harnessing MVNO services, such as PnP Mobile, benefit from broader and more affordable service offerings and can manage their activity in one place − essentially integrating their virtual lives.”

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