Today the mobile payment solutions are so embedded in Smart’s business model that SMART Money, SMART Load and the more recent SMART Padala (Remittance through mobile phones) are considered “traditional” products. These products and services are used by more than 80 per cent of Smart’s 16.5 million subscribers. Revenue has increased from around US$500 million to US$1 billion – and 99 per cent of this business continues to be prepaid.
Wirecard’s industry expertise helped Smart become the local market leader. Before the introduction of SMART Load, Smart and its closest competition, Globe, were neck and neck in the Philippine telecommunications market. Now that Smart customers are able to buy airtime in denominations of as little as five-minutes at a time, Smart has taken the pole position.
Smart won twice in the GSM Association’s prestigious awards: 2001 – Award for Most Innovative GSM Wireless Service for Customers for its SMART Money and in 2004 Award for Best Mobile Application or Service – Consumer Market for its SMART Load product, and the judges’ comments are telling: “This prepaid microbusiness is very, very impressive. Not only is Smart Communications increasing its customer-base and reducing churn, it is creating employment, creating new businesses and multiplying its retail channels.”