Cricket and MetroPCS introduce handset financing option
Cricket and MetroPCS have both recently introduced handset financing programs to their customers. Handset financing option helps prepaid customers to pay off the high-cost smartphones over time since many of them are struggling with paying the full price upfront: “Consumers are really excited about our rate plans, but they’re struggling with the fact that an iPhone 5 is $500 upfront.” – said Leap’s senior vice president of marketing and product development, Tyler Wallis.
Cricket has introduced handset financing option before Black Friday sales. So far, they have been advertising it in select markets only and plan to do more of it in the next year’s first quarter. Cricket works with a firm Progressive Finance that pays to the carrier for the handset and than collect money from customers. That way, carrier is not involved in chasing late payments. Applying to this program does not require a credit check.
Handset financing program covers 90 percent of the cost of handset. Users have up to nine months to pay off the handset but if they do it within first three months, they will avoid paying interest fee. According to Cricket, the handset financing program is available at 2,500 locations nationwide through Leap’s corporate stores and its dealers.
MetroPCS has confirmed that they work with a Progressive Finance and BillFloat to provide handset financing option to its customers, saying that it “allows customers the ability to use MetroPCS’ 4G LTE services on higher-priced handsets.” No further details on how it actually works were provided.
T-Mobile has also recently introduced a similar option to its customers. However, the difference is that T-Mobile’s customers will pay a downpayment on the handset’s cost and the rest of it in monthly payments over a two-year contract period. In Cricket and MetroPCS’s case, users are not obligated to any contract signing.