BUSINESS WIRE: Phones, Payments and the Pandemic: Covid’s Impact on How We Communicate and Spend Money


8 in 10 people are actively engaged in the prepaid economy

Engagement in prepaid services is income agnostic with 84% of higher-income earners participating in some tenet of the prepaid market

Consumer confidence remains high among prepaid users despite the Covid-19 pandemic

Cash is still king, but pandemic could stimulate the need for prepaid cards and vouchers to meet the needs of both unbanked and wealthier consumers

LONDON --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 27.01.2021 --

The release of the Inaugural Ding Global Prepaid Index (GPI) has produced unexpected findings of an untapped market with high growth potential that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. This bi-annual global study commissioned by Ding, the world’s largest mobile top-up service, examines the views of 7,000 respondents across the US, the UK, France, KSA, UAE, Qatar, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Philippines, regarding their engagement in the prepaid market and their attitudes towards it. The prepaid market is defined as people who use prepaid mobile billing; prepaid financial products such as prepaid credit cards; prepaid utility bill payment, or prepaid gift cards / vouchers.

Market Intelligence - what the report tells us

This report is telling: 79% of respondents use at least one prepaid service, while 45% use two or more; prepay is seen as a more flexible way to engage the services they need and want rather than bill pay (or postpay) options. Prepaid mobile bills account for the highest usage (61%), followed by prepaid utility bills (31%), prepaid vouchers and gift cards (19%) and prepaid financial products such as a prepaid visa card (17%).

While many assume that the prepaid market primarily serves those in a lower income bracket, the study has revealed that a high number across all income brackets engage in prepaid services. In fact, higher-income earners use prepaid products most, with 84% of respondents in this bracket stating they use prepaid services. This result is relatively high across the board, with 78% of low-income earners using prepaid services as do 79% of medium-income earners.

“The Global Prepaid Index has revealed the enormous market potential for prepaid products,” said Mark Roden, Chief Executive and Founder of Ding. “Our research shows that prepaid products attract all walks of life, with many people engaging by choice rather than out of necessity. In an era where we can use technology to provide better transparency and control over our finances, as well as to use it to quickly access services, it is no surprise that people are willing to have their electricity or mobile phone service cut off for example because, in minutes, they can just top it up again.”

Market Opportunity

“Today we see a business opportunity to cater to the prepaid market more than ever,” said Roden. “The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend not only due to financial uncertainty but also with many unable to see their loved ones in person due to social distancing and restrictions on international travel. Even on our own platform, we have seen close to a 50% annual uptick in prepaid transactions during 2020, with customers prioritising keeping in contact by either topping up their own phones or sending airtime to others.”

*** Ends ***

About the Ding Global Prepaid Index (GPI)

The Ding Global Prepaid Index (GPI) is a major bi-annual survey analysing the prepaid market.

The inaugural GPI shines a light on the people who may see prepaid products and services as their only option to live in the world today. 7,000 respondents were surveyed across Europe, Asia and the Americas regarding their use of prepaid offerings, examining the attitudes, activities and outlook of the forgotten billion in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those surveyed were evenly distributed across gender and aged over 18, 30 percent of the sample also identified as expats.

About Ding

Ding was founded to improve people’s lives by helping those with less gain access to more. As the number one international mobile top-up service in the world, Ding has been keeping people connected since 2006, when it launched this first-of-a-kind service. Today, Ding’s users have successfully sent over 450 million top-ups globally, via the app, online at, and in-store at over 600,000+ retail outlets worldwide.

Ding is the world’s leading universal top-up service. Ding delivers a top-up every second, via 550+ operators, across 140+ countries – helping families and friends around the world to stay connected.

For further information:
Bianca Delbao
CW8 Communications