Johannesburg, 24 June 2021: Mobile phones and devices are playing a larger role in peoples’ lives than ever before. The Covid-19 outbreak has increased our reliance on smart devices, which can now be used to conduct almost every daily activity – from finding entertainment to organising meetings and schedules to keeping in touch with friends and family. This has also resulted in exponential increases in demand for data and internet access.
“The smartphone is like a pocket-sized personal computer,” says Lee Ramsden: Head Sales and Distribution of Standard Bank Mobile. “It travels with us wherever we go, and facilitates access to information, and important services like banking, healthcare and education. Smart devices and internet access have become a critical component of the modern world; nowadays, everyone needs to be connected to participate in an increasingly interconnected world.”
Ramsden says that in the last 18 months, the number of customers signing up to Standard Bank Mobile, which ties in device and internet access to banking activity, has trebled. “There are various considerations to make ahead of purchasing a device or entering into a contract. It might be worth thinking about your top uses for the device, as this will help guide your selection process.”
Decide on what best suits your budget
First, decide how much you are willing to spend to purchase the device – this could be as a once off payment, or through instalments. iPhones tend to be more expensive relative to many Android phones. However, a cheaper iPhone SE for around R399 per month over 24 months or R8 999 once off may be an option for those on a budget but who are looking for a phone that operates on the iOS platform.
“Those who go for this option, which is offered exclusively by Standard Bank Mobile, will not have to compromise on space either, as the phone can hold up to 64GB of memory space. This is more than enough storage for various apps, countless hours of video clips and tens of thousands of photos taken,” says Ramsden.
Samsung is another relatively high-priced brand but there are certain models that sit on the lower end of the price scale. Those who are really on a tight budget might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy A02S, which can be paid off over two years for R119 per month. The ZTE Blade L210, which also operates off the Android, is another low-cost model that goes for R1 399. There is also the option to pay it off in instalments of R59 per month for 24 months.
However, as a business owner or a student, who may conduct majority of their daily activities virtually, owning a tablet might be a consideration as it offers the best of both worlds – phones and laptops. Standard Bank customers can put their UCount rewards points earned from credit or cheque card swipes towards reducing the cost of a device such as the Huawei tablet, which is available for less than R200 per month. This device offers extended battery life of almost 10 hours, which means it can still be used freely even when the electricity might be out.
Figure out your preferred operating system
If you are buying a new smartphone today, it is very likely that the device will run on one of two operating systems: Google’s Android or Apple’s iOS. The two platforms have been around for some time now and both are user friendly and support a wide variety of apps and games. Ultimately, selecting the platform comes down to you and your individual preference.
Some might be more invested in Apple and its ecosystem than others and will prefer to stick to it – especially if they own various Apple devices that can be synced up with one another. Apple has designed a multitude of features that allow you to carry over work and data from one of its devices to another, and these features can save you time.
“It is however no secret that iPhones are on the higher end of the price range, particularly those models that have just come onto the market. Whereas you can find a more affordable Android device that fits your budget and still offers the features you might be after,” Ramsden explains. “Some of the best features of Android include the ability to customise multiple home screens with useful apps that give you quicker, easier access to the most important functions to you.”
Do your homework to find the best deal
With so many different cell phone contracts deals on the market today, potential users can be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the decision. Ramsden says it is advisable to do your homework, and to take some time to shop around to find the best deal. If you want to save some money, consider looking at deals that will offer additional value, apply discounts, or provide a reward for your loyalty or spend.
Enter Standard Bank Mobile
Standard Bank Mobile focuses on being more than just about phones, explains Ramsden. “We focus heavily on offering reliable and affordable connection.”
He says that Standard Bank is seeing an incredible uptake of smartphone users but is not seeing the same level of uptake of internet access. “This is because people who are buying smartphone devices generally struggle to afford data to keep their phones up to date, let alone use the internet as they please, and this is where Standard Bank Mobile comes into play.”
Customers who subscribe to Standard Bank Mobile can access rewards including:
- Receiving your monthly banking fee back in airtime.
- Free data every time you swipe your credit or debit card.
- Up to 2 GB data free each month if you are also a member of the UCount Rewards Programme.
“We are able to offer customers an opportunity to purchase a device for less and to access free data – simply for banking with us. It then makes sense for customers to buy their mobile and banking services together because it is cheaper to do so. We have been able to create these cost benefits for customers by banking a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, which means that Standard Bank purchases network capacity in bulk from network operators and can negotiate better rates than an individual consumer could. This also enables us to tailor packages to suit the individual needs of our customers, rather than providing a one-size-fits all solution,” he concludes.
By Lee Ramsden: Head Sales and Distribution of Standard Bank Mobile