Anyone else remember Telstra’s CreditMe2U? Here’s why they stopped it

creditme2u

Does anyone else remember CreditMe2U? If you had more credit than you needed, you could send it to other people. People who used Telstra before 2016 might be familiar with the concept. But why did Telstra stop this service? And what has it been replaced with?

What was CreditMe2U?

In the past, Telstra used to have a service called “CreditMe2U”. This was where people on pre-paid plans could send credit to other Telstra users. I might send $20 to my $50 to my mother, who doesn’t use her phone as often as I do. To use this service, I would need to text “Menu” to 125888, and from there, I would respond to each reply so that I could send the right amount to the right person.

In case you’re wondering, a prepaid plan is when you pay a certain amount (say $30 a month), which you could spend on texts, calls, or data usage. If you pay for more than you use, you can send the leftovers to other people also on Telstra. In the past, this system would work well. Back then, most people were on plans that limited how long they could talk on the phone and how many texts they could send. Those who tended to use their phone a lot could spend all their credit, and those who used it less might have some to spare. Those who rarely used their phone could get credit from others when needed.

Is CreditMe2U still available?

However, since the 18th of February 2018, almost all plans stopped allowing people to send credit to others using CreditMe2U.Although Telstra got rid of it because it was becoming far less common than it used to be, some customers became very frustrated when they could no longer send or receive credit. Unfortunately, companies get rid of products or features we might like because they don’t get sold/used enough.

Until 2021, the only plans that still supported CreditMe2U were grandfathered plans. In case you’re wondering, a grandfathered plan is a plan you’ve been on since 2010 and have not changed. And the few who were still on a grandfathered plan were forced to move to a current plan in 2021. Therefore, all Telstra customers are on plans that do not allow CreditMe2U. CreditMe2U is dead. Something that Aussies across the country once used is now a thing of the past. But why did they get rid of it?

Why was Creditme2U phased out?

We mentioned earlier that as time moved on, fewer customers were using CreditMe2U. And there are several reasons for this. The first reason is that many people had no credit to send. In the past, most people had a set amount they could spend on calls and texts. But today, many phone contracts come with unlimited calls and texts. There is no “credit” for people to spend on them.

Back then, using 3G data would cost you credit. But today, most phone plans have a set limit of how much 4G (or even 5G) data you can use. Usually, people sign up for a plan with enough 4/5G to get them through the month. As well as phone plans, another significant change has been how money is transferred. Today, there are more ways than ever that you can transfer money from one person to another. Using an app or website, money can go from one bank account to another in minutes. This is vastly different from the days of CreditMe2U, when the only other ways to transfer money would be via a bank or cash in hand.

Other payment methods

Let’s look at some more modern ways people can transfer money to others.

  • PayPal
    The brainchild of Tesla’s Elon Musk, PayPal is a quick, reasonably safe way to transfer funds. All you need to know about the other person is the email address they use for PayPal. So long as both the sender and recipient use PayPal, they can send and receive money from each other. PayPal takes cyber security seriously, with encryption and safeguards in place.
  • CashApp
    CashApp is popular amongst younger folk. So long as both the sender and receiver have a CashApp account, sending money is simple. You just have to go to their Cash App profile, type in how much you wish to send, and press send.
  • Direct Bank Transfer
    If the person you wish to send money to isn’t too tech-savvy, you can still put money directly into their bank account. But, the rise of online banking means you no longer have to leave your home and enter a physical bank.
  • Okso
    Okso is a website that streamlines bank transfers, making them simpler and quicker.

Conclusion

It’s a couple of years now, since Telstra phased out the ability to transfer credit on their prepaid plans to other users. It’s not hard to see why. First, Telstra, famously, has, for the last few years been furiously pursuing the goal of simplifying it’s product suite. The feedback they got from customers came in loud and clear and it’s something that every person in Australia who has been a customer of Telstra (and that’s almost all of us at some point) knows intuitively – they are a huge, sprawling company which can be very hard to deal with. Simplifying their product suite and eliminating unnecessary features – including this one which not many people used – has been largely successful for them. But it’s not just the fact that, over time, Telstra had added too many features and left their customers confused. The ability to transfer credit between users was useful and necessary 20 years ago. Grandmothers could send money to grand kids to keep them talking and texting, parents could reward good behaviour with a few bucks of data. The world has turned since those days. Now, there are many, many ways to move money around – PayPal, direct bank transfers, Osko. Telstra did the right thing clearing the decks of this sort of out-dated feature. Find another way to help someone get the credit you want to give them. There are plenty!

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.