Cricket Wireless’ collaboration with Acorns is an appealing loyalty play for budget-conscious consumers, says GlobalData

Following today’s news (4 August) that Cricket Wireless is collaborating with micro-investing platform Acorns to help consumers pursue their financial goals;

Tammy Parker, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“AT&T’s prepaid secondary brand Cricket Wireless is following a worldwide trend in which telecom operators craft mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationships with financial institutions or even go solo into the banking sector. Collaborating with Acorns is a savvy move for Cricket as it expands its reach into an area of emergent opportunity.

“Wireless carriers have large customer bases that are digitally oriented and already have the tools to engage with online banking, investing and contactless payments, whether via mobile app or website. This makes them attractive partners for fintech providers, whose services can, in turn, help the carrier’s brand stand out from the crowd of telco rivals.

“Its category-exclusive partnership with Acorns can help Cricket encourage long-term user loyalty, which is something all prepaid brands wrestle with as prepaid wireless customer churn continues to be much higher than postpaid. GlobalData’s most recent ‘United States Mobile Operator KPI Forecast’ predicts that average monthly prepaid churn will remain around 4.9% over the next five years, nearly five times higher than postpaid churn during that period.

“Telco-banking partnerships such as this collaboration between Cricket and Acorns can play significant roles in expanding digital financial services to underbanked communities seeking economic inclusion. In turn, both the carrier and financial services provider benefit by enhancing their reputations for social responsibility, helping raise their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores.

“Cricket and Acorns appear to have similar customer targets in terms of demographics, lending credence to their collaboration. Customers who sign up for prepaid wireless service are generally quite budget-conscious. Giving those customers the opportunity to engage in online banking and micro-investing will be an effective differentiator for Cricket.”

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