Electronic reloading (eLoad)
In a prepaid mobile phone, direct top up, PINless top up, topping-up, eLoad or reloading is needed to further enjoy the services offered by the operator. There are a lot of options on how to reload a prepaid mobile phone. The most popular process is through purchasing a prepaid card but due to security precautions, electronic reloading was developed.
The technology of electronic reloading was first introduced in the Philippines. The service offered micro top-ups meaning prepaid subscribers can top-up prepaid credits with small denominations. The service gained popularity and soon after other service providers also used the technology in offering prepaid top-ups to its subscribers.
Retailers and prepaid subscribers both benefit from electronic reloading service.
Electronic reloading does not require transfer of any actual physical prepaid cards. No more cards to be kept or safeguarded against theft.
There is no need to incur costs on transportation, warehousing or other incidental expenses that would cut into the retailer’s profits because all transactions are done electronically.
Prepaid credits are loaded automatically to the subscriber. No more long lines, no more PINs to be keyed in.
Channels of reloading
Prepaid subscribers can top-up airtime balances via electronic reloading stations. Reloading Stations or retailers uses a Retailer SIM card in topping up prepaid credits to a subscriber’s mobile phone. The functions of this SIM is also identical to the prepaid SIM cards offered commercially but with added reloading functionality. It uses a click-and-browse SIM technology to perform hassle-free transactions. A retailer enters the number of the mobile phone to be reloaded and then chooses the amount. The airtime balance reloaded will then be deducted from the retailer’s commercial load credits which can also be reloaded from any of the network’s wireless centers and authorized dealers. The commercial load is the prepaid airtime balance used in reloading a prepaid SIM card and is a separate load balance from the personal load balance of the retailer.
Any person can be a retailer since service providers are selling these retailer SIM cards without any additional contracts. Because of this scenario, reloading stations are popping up like mushrooms especially in the Philippines where every block of the city and even in most remotest areas in the provinces have reloading stations.
From the success of electronic reloading, the same network who introduced the service also developed a load transfer service among prepaid subscribers. Load transfer uses the same technology used in reloading stations but uses a different method. A prepaid subscriber must key in the mobile number of the person where the credit balance must be transferred and sends to an access number designated by the service providers. Load transfers only supports small denominations and expires after 24 hours from the time of transfer.
Electronic reloading can also be done via reward points redemption. Service providers offer subscribers with reward points which are accumulated every time a subscribers uses or purchases any value added services of the network. These points can be used to purchase electronic loads and other services depending on the amount of points earned.
Automated Teller Machines
Banks have already designed and supported reloading service via Automated Teller Machines (ATM). A menu for reloading is added onto the machine and can be used by any person with an ATM card. The denomination reloaded to a prepaid mobile phone is deducted from the bank account balance of the ATM card used. Picktu Directory
Electronic reloads can also be offered from other subscriptions from a network provider. One particular example is through a mobile broadband subscriptions. Service providers have designed a way to incorporate reloading functions of the mobile broadband. But these service are only marketed for personal use since the idea fleshed out from the load transfer service.
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