Topping up your pre-paid SIM card is now just an SMS away, thanks to a tie-up between DBS Bank and the three local telcos.
This is the first time a bank is allowing pre-paid subscribers to top up their cards via SMS with deductions from their accounts.
Singtel, StarHub and M1 pre-paid mobile users can have the top-up amount deducted directly from their DBS and POSB savings accounts by sending an SMS to the bank.
In the past, the 3.3 million pre-paid mobile users here had to make a trip to convenience stores, ATMs, AXS stations or post office to do so.
Direct debits from users' savings accounts and credit card payments have also been possible for at least a year now.
However, these cashless payment options require users to first log into telcos' websites or dedicated smartphone apps.
They must also enter their 16-digit credit card numbers for every transaction. For direct debit from savings accounts, users need to enter their PIN online.
"Our service is an instant top-up from their savings account without the hassle of entering credit card numbers or a PIN," said Mr Jeremy Soo, DBS head of consumer banking in Singapore.
Users must first register for SMS banking with DBS. Then, they register for the SMS top-up service by sending an SMS to 77767 with the following message: RegisterNRIC or passport numberlast four digits of savings account.
To initiate a top-up request, users send an SMS to 77767 with the following message: Topuptelcoprepaid mobile number.
A return SMS offers top-up options from $6 to $300. Customers respond with their choice, also via SMS.
Pre-school teacher Jasmine Kaur, 31, who helps her grandmother top up her SIM card at convenience stores and the post office, said the SMS option is easier.
"I like the fact that I can top up my grandmother's pre-paid card with just an SMS from my phone," she said.
Retiree Diana Wong, 75, gave the thumbs-up for the extra convenience. But she asked: "What happens if I lose my phone?"
DBS said SMS banking is not an auto-reload facility and does not have to be cancelled when users lose their phones.
To deactivate the lost SIM card and get a replacement with the same number and top-up value, users just need to contact their telcos.
All three telcos said they will continue to explore new payment channels with more banks for their pre-paid customers.
This article was first published on October 12, 2015.
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