biNU, the company behind the #datafree platform and Moya Messenger app, has entered into a partnership with MTN to enable mobile subscribers in South Africa to access websites and apps at no charge to mobile data.
According to a statement released, subscribers do not have to use their own mobile data to browse online and participating digital content and application owners will foot the bill – as per biNu's reverse billing model.
In May 2019 Stephen Newton, chief executive officer of biNu said of the reverse billing approach: "Our reverse billing approach is both the least and the most disruptive for MNOs, organisations and their brands and consumers. Once MNOs understand our reverse billing model they like it because we present an alternative additional revenue source. Companies and brands are only asked to shift allocated marketing/customer acquisition and or communication spend and include #datafree in their plans."
With this latest alliance in place, MTN is now offering biNu's platform to its enterprise client base.
"By zero-rating their digital touchpoints, organisations will be able to expand their reach, increase engagement - and lower communication costs by moving customer engagement online from call centres and shops/branches. A large number of enterprises are also using this technology to enhance their digital training value proposition to staff members," reads an excerpt from the statement.
MTN launched its proprietary reverse billing service in August 2018 and by migrating to the biNu platform, the operator believes it is opening up a new revenue stream through the ability to offer #datafree services to users of other networks.
biNu already has reverse billing agreements in place with South Africa's other MNOs - Cell C, Telkom and Vodacom.
The partnership provides organisations with a reverse billing platform across all networks with one point of contact for advice, support and billing.
Dr Christian Wirtz, Executive Enterprise Operations and Solutions at MTN said "Reverse billing is now a proven model in South Africa. Once banks and universities decided to carry the data costs for their customers, early adopters saw a large increase in consumers using their online portals or banking services.
According to the statement, biNu's #datafree platform is in use in South Africa and Nigeria, specifically by brands, businesses, public bodies and NGOs.
It is also being used by commercial publishers looking to extend their audience reach and engagement with mobile consumers
Newton added: "We offer a unique solution that moves the cost of mobile data from consumers to the owners of the content. I am delighted that MTN will now be offering our platform to its enterprise customers who want to increase their digital interactions with people living and working in South Africa".
The MTN/biNu partnership covers the South African market initially and will be expanded to other countries in the future.