Mobile operators have seen around 10-12% decline in pre-paid recharges since the demonetisation came into effect, industry sources said. A big operator normally sees a cash collection of around R250-300 crore everyday by way of recharges. Around 95% of the market is in the pre-paid segment and here roughly 80% recharge through cash with the balance 20% using cashless means. However, operators said that in the next few days the decline will be arrested as the situation improves gradually.
Operators like Bharti and Vodafone have extended bill payment for post-paid customers by three days. Further, for pre-paid they are offering talk-time loan, which means if one cannot recharge their phone on the due date, it will not stop functioning. The talk-time amount after the due date will be adjusted whenever the consumer recharges next.
“We are extending bill payment due date for postpaid customers by up to three days and will provide talk time loan to prepaid customers to ensure there is continuity of services and they are not inconvenienced,” an Airtel spokesperson said.
Similarly Vodafone in a statement said, “Vodafone India has extended the bill payment date by three days for postpaid customers.
Additionally, for the benefit of pre-paid customers running out of balance, Vodafone is providing small credits on both talktime and data. Vodafone is facilitating these initiatives for the convenience of both post-paid and pre-paid customers, as the city tries to cope with the challenges of accessing cash during the present demonetisation phase.”
“Just SMS CREDIT on the toll free number 144 and R10 will be credited to your account. This comes with a service charge of R3 per transaction. With a validity of 7 days, it will be adjusted in your next recharge,” Vodafone statement said.