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5 Steps to Renewal: Ways MNOs Can Win - And Keep – Their Subscribers

Customers want digital services that cater to their lifestyle from the convenience of their phones, which is exactly what fintechs are providing.
March 3, 2024

Whyis Churn a Problem in the Mobile Network Industry?


For mobile network operators, churn is an ongoing concern - one that is, unfortunately, worsening instead of improving.


MNOs face incoming challenges from every direction, market saturation, stiff competition both inside and outside the mobile communications industry and growing customer disinterest in the services they’ve always offered.


The mobile network industry is getting more saturated by the day. New mobile network service providers are entering the market daily, offering more for less and compelling customers to window shop, impacting their loyalty.


Externally, MNOs face an even greater threat - fintech companies. Fintechs, having caught on to evolving customer preferences more quickly, are offering financial and lifestyle services on mobile-based apps and platforms.


Customers are responding to this and realising the drawbacks of paying for two service providers, opting for fintechs over MNOs.


Lastly, customers no longer want the same services operators have always traditionally sold. Voice services have declined steadily for years and customers don’t want to be tied into extensive monthly subscription packages for services they barely use.


Instead, customers want digital services that cater to their lifestyle from the convenience of their phones - which is exactly what fintechs are providing.


All of these factors combined create a perfect storm fueling churn and revenue woes for MNOs. The time to act is now. If MNOs want to remain key players in the communication and service industries they need to start reducing their churn rates - and quickly.


Here are 5 practical, brick-by-brick steps you can follow to win back and retain your customers.

How to Win and Keep Your Subscribers in 5Steps:

1. Offer advances in airtime and data


In the era of “instant”, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait to access something you want. Your subscribers are no exception when it comes to using your services, particularly airtime and data service.


They want continuous, undisturbed access to airtime and data to make calls, send messages and access information.


A break in this connectivity due to insufficient funds will only frustrate your customers and may drive them straight towards a competitor. To prevent this from happening, offer advances in airtime and data to customers.


Customers will be delighted at being able to access airtime and data and only have to pay later, particularly during that end-of-the-month crunch, and will remain loyal subscribers to you.

2. Offer mobile money wallets as a service


Another way to encourage customer loyalty and increase ARPU simultaneously is to offer mobile money wallets and mobile money lending.


The boom in demand for instant, digital services means that customers are hungry for fast, convenient digital capabilities from the comfort of their mobile devices.


By using data tracked from repayments of airtime and data advances, MNOs can identify high-potential customers for larger mobile money loans. This helps to offset the potential risks of handing out larger loans by only targeting customers with a good repayment history.


Your customers will love having access to all the services they want -eCommerce, entertainment, subscription, utility payments and money transfers -in one interface.

This will boost their purchasing power and encourage them to spend more, increasing revenue.

3. Provide financial identity as a service to customers


For many existing customers, acquiring credit or a loan is near impossible because they either have a low or non-existent credit score, don’t have an active bank account or even lack the identity documentation necessary.


MNOs can use the data collected from customers’ airtime and data advances, as well as mobile money loans to offer financial identity as a service.


Using this data, MNOs can build credit profiles for customers from the ground up, empowering them and enabling them to, sometimes for the first time, apply for and access a loan.

4. Enable handset financing for targeted customers


Offering advanced airtime and data lending and mobile money wallets will delight your customers but, to really offer a bespoke service, you can offer handset financing for targeted customers.


There are often misconceptions surrounding handset financing, and MNOs may feel uncertain about offering advances in mobile devices, which cost thousands, to customers who may default on payments.


However, handset financing executed with careful strategy can be the ultimate customer retention tool.


Again, using data collected from advances and mobile money lending, MNOs can further target customers with impeccable repayment records to exclusively offer them handset financing.


This will allow customers to own the latest premier smartphones, and access all service capabilities that come along with them, which will encourage them to spend more and improve their customer loyalty.

5. Create a seamless customer experience


Customers don’t just expect excellent services that match their needs, they want to feel valued by their service provider.


Providing a seamless, personalised customer experience at every stage of the sales funnel will nurture and guide each customer along their journey while making them feel important.


MNOs can use customer data to obtain a bird’s eye view of customer behaviours and preferences online to provide product and service offerings tailored to them.


Your customers will appreciate the care and consideration put into your communication and engagement with them, increasing their likelihood of retention and making them eventual brand ambassadors for you.



MNOs looking to retain customers through service expansion may naturally feel hesitant about taking on the risk of offering mobile credit and loans to customers.


Airvantage is one of the largest service providers to MNOs across Africa. We specialise in:


●     Advanced airtime and data lending

●     Mobile wallets and mobile money lending

●     Agent lending and handset finance

●     Financial identity as a service


We take on the risk so you can receive all the benefits.


If you’re ready to find out how Airvantage can increase your customer retention with no risk to you, book a consultation with us.

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