Ways Of Adding Money To Your Prepaid Wireless Phone
Are you frustrated with
figuring out all of the different ways of
adding money to
your prepaid wireless account? What’s the
options? Which one(s) are better? There are a
different ways to add money to your account in the world of prepaid
wireless, and it can get extremely
confusing! Sometimes dealers and retailers themselves get
confused. So if you’re confused and frustrated,
be too hard on yourself. You’re not alone!
This is a symptom of a fast-paced industry that has introduced
new ways of adding money to make it easier for customers and
distributors. Fortunately, prepaid payment methods now
largely look the same as contract wireless payment options,
which means that things
are a lot more familiar and logical. That said, prepaid cards
and PINs are still unique to no contract wireless.
Although the spirit of making adding money easier is a good
companies have unintentionally confused both partners and customers.
Rushing new payment products to market, which usually contain
compromises to the customer experience, is typically to blame.
The good news is that once you figure out what options are offered by
your wireless carrier, and the benefits of each, it’s likely
you’ll be able to find the method that best fits your needs
lifestyle. It used to be that if you wanted
payment mtehods, you'd have to choose certain providers that offered
them. Fortunately, because of the competitive nature of the
prepaid wireless industry, and the critical importance of making it
easy for customers to add money to your account, most providers look
quite similar these days. After all, wireless companies don't
make money from selling phones, but rather, from customers making
payments each month; it's what pays their bills (and employee salaries)!
I like to divide payments into two general categories:
- These are products that you
purchase in a
retail store (ex. Walmart, Best Buy, Target, etc.) or from wireless
dealers. Although you may end up paying for them using
debit card, credit card, or personal check, according to your needs,
what the retailer accepts in their store, think of these as your
in-store payment options (online payments on these retailers' websites
is a completely
It might sound strange to refer to these as cash payments when other,
non-cash transactions can occur. However, this language is
within carriers, retailers, and technology partners when discussing
prepaid wireless payments. This is because the wireless
carrier doesn't know how you paid when you go into a Walmart, so they
simply classify these as cash payments.
- The most common topup products in
this category include:
Direct (Virtual) Payments
- Direct payments are also often
referred to as
virtual payments, direct replenishment, or real time topup.
This is for
who have a credit card, debit card, or bank account, and allows you to
add money to your prepaid account without going to a physical
called “direct” because it’s you, the
directly to your wireless provider (i.e. carrier) to pay them
directly. You’re basically bypassing the middleman,
retailer or wireless distributor. Although retailers and
don't typically like this option, because it means lost in-store
payments for them, direct virtual payments can have benefits
you and the carrier in terms of convenience and cost.
- The most common products in
this category include:
o Reloadable Debit
Some carriers, or particular
stores, still charge fees to make payments. Yes, they charge
you extra money for the pleasure of paying them! Although
these fees are largely falling out of favor, definitely watch out for
these fees, and avoid them by using non-fee channels/topup products!