Bill Pay vs Prepay: Mobile Payment Options Compared [Infographic]

Today, I would like to talk about a slightly different topic. Instead of talking about hardware gadgets or software solutions, I would like to bring your attention to phone contracts and prepaid options. How should we pay for data, texts and phone calls? What should our decision depend on?


When it comes to paying for mobile phone usage, the regular structure of bill pay may be ideal for some owners, whereas others might prefer the flexibility of prepay (also known as top-up). The debate as to which option is ‘better’ will never have a definitive answer; it’s more a case of mobile users establishing which one is best suited to their phone usage.

What might persuade someone to opt for bill pay? This option allows you to get the latest phones for a knockdown price, paying for them incrementally across a specified timeframe rather than shelling out big bucks right away. If you use your phone abundantly and always need to be able to make calls or send texts immediately, bill pay allows you to continue doing so even if you’ve surpassed your monthly quota (it just means you’ll be charged considerably more). Also, the structured nature of bill pay usually offers greater value for money.

Keeping that in mind, why then would someone else rather go with prepay? The freedom to change phones and providers with ease, as well as the sensibility of only paying for what you use, are consistent arguments in favour of prepay. Customers who use this option will also tell you that, because you cannot make calls or send texts if your credit balance is zero, it prevents you from unwittingly running up huge charges. Prepay is generally better for casual users who might not need their phone 24/7.

Neon SMS ( has created this infographic which compares the two options side by side through the assessment of several important criteria. It also lists the questions you should ask yourself before making a concrete decision one way or the other. Read the infographic in full below.


Would you have thought that the total of phone bill owners in the world is only 23%? We can see that the USA is very attached to phone bills and they are also pretty tight in with their contracts. Even when they buy a phone at Apple, they need to select their carrier. Even though, this has recently been changed.

I think, pre-paid phones are also used when either the phone is not used that often (2nd phone, travel phone etc.) or when the owner cannot commit to pay a phone bill every month. Therefore, we also see more prepaid in countries where the income is not that stable. It is also a good solution for kids who do not have their own income. This way, parents can control the costs.

However, even prepaid options give you the possibility nowadays to automatically charge your account when it reaches a certain minimum limit or it automatically gets recharged with a certain amount each month. This is somehow a mix of bill and prepaid.

What are you using, and why? Happy to read your thoughts in the comments section.

Have a great day!


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