Ireland-based mobile load platform Ding, which recently expanded into the Philippines through a tie-up with local telcos Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, has published its inaugural Global Prepaid Index (GPI).
The survey examined attitudes to prepaid services and revealed that Filipino respondents place a high priority on family in financial decision-making, particularly when compared to other countries.
“The Ding GPI reveals that the Philippines, along with, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia, are the countries where consumers show the strongest preference for prepaid mobile contracts with 89% saying they are consumers in this space,” said Mark Roden, founder and chief executive at Ding.
“With more than half of Filipino respondents also saying they have two or more prepaid products, we believe there is significant growth potential for the broader prepaid market in the Philippines.”
He added, “As a country with more than 2.2 million Overseas Filipino Workers, democratizing access to prepaid financial products and services can play a powerful role in improving people’s lives. The OFWs are in many ways modern heroes in the Filipino economy, and prepaid products like top up make it easier for them to stay in contact with loved ones back home.”
To date, the company said Filipinos have used Ding to send more than eight million top-ups to the phones of loved ones. There are more than 114 million registered SIMs in the Philippines – of which 96% are prepaid – according to the GSMA.
Here are some of the key findings in the report from respondents in the Philippines.
- At 83%, respondents in the Philippines are some of the biggest users of prepaid mobile contracts
Consumers in the Philippines show a strong preference for flexibility in their mobile usage, with 83% using a prepaid mobile contract and 43% of respondents stating they use a SIM-only contract. 84% of those who use a prepaid service say they do so out of choice, with half stating that it gives them better control over their budget and expenditure.
- 51% of Filipino respondents use two or more prepaid products
The popularity of prepaid services extends beyond mobile services, with more than half of respondents stating they use other prepaid products. These may include utilities, gift cards, or prepaid debit cards.
- Filipinos love to stay connected with 61% sending or receiving phone load top-up
Two thirds of respondents stated that they have either sent or received load top-up at some point, most commonly between family members. In terms of frequency – 84% say they have sent load top-up to family at least once if not more often each month, and 78% state they have received load top-up from family once or more a month.
- Supporting family is a high priority when it comes to spending
A third of Filipino respondents stated that supporting their family was their highest financial priority, second only to food and groceries. Respondents in the Philippines prioritize family finances above other significant expenditure categories such as rent, utility bills, and education.
- Filipinos maintain a positive outlook on matters of economy and employment compared to other countries
Consumer confidence in the Philippines is rated at 64.1 – well above the global average of 52.5. Three-quarters of respondents stated they felt optimistic about the economy, while 72% indicated positive sentiments about employment and 70% about their family’s income. Interestingly, the Philippines and Indonesia, both countries where supporting family is rated as a high financial priority, both generally scored higher on optimism than countries where respondents cited other financial priorities.
- Facebook is the most popular way for people in the Philippines to stay in contact with others
People in the Philippines love to use Facebook to stay in touch, with 88% indicating it was their preferred medium. The next most popular was SMS with 53%, followed by voice calls at 28%. And almost 70% said they would be interested in a SuperApp – to serve as a one-stop-shop for all their needs.