Mobile service startup FreedomPop is taking on a new direction while still continuing to offer their popular phone plans. As TechCrunch reports the company has announced a partnership with Prudential that will effectively bring FreedomPop into the financial services space… sort of. The partnership is aimed at Prudential upselling its customers and driving conversions using a FreedomPop-developed platform.
In order to understand the Prudential/FreedomPop partnership, one must first understand the latter company’s business model. FreedomPop boasts free wireless plans — including talk, text, and data — to a number of customers by buying network capacity from other carriers. However their monetization model finds the company offering a number of paid upgrades such as voicemail and extra data allowances. This conversion platform is one they’ve dubbed Accelerate Platform, which is what Prudential will be utilizing to similarly market to their own customers.
FreedomPop claims that their Accelerate Platform has one of the highest conversion rates on the web with 50% of customers purchasing at least one paid service. By comparison, other “freemium” modeled companies such as Spotify reportedly have conversion rates less than half that. As a result it’s easy to see why businesses in other spaces — especially in the financial field — would want to take Accelerate for a spin.
Explaining his company’s decision to work with FreedomPop and their Accelerate Platform, Prudential’s Chief Digital Officer Al-Noor Ramji said, “We chose to work with FreedomPop because they have a proven model and have already demonstrated reliability and scalability with world-class companies. We are excited to leverage FreedomPop’s Accelerate platform to surface, assess and maximize data monetization opportunities in new and innovative ways.” Meanwhile FreedomPop’s CEO Stephen Stokols explained how their platform will assist Prudential, telling TechCrunch, “They would have had seven or eight different segments in the past. Now we’re talking about thousands of micro-segments, based on actual experiences.”
Although Prudential is the first financial services company FreedomPop has partnered with in this manner, it apparently has four other deals in place that are expected to roll out next year. This has led Stokols to suggest, “We think financial services might even be bigger than telecoms for us in the long run.” So while FreedomPop nor Prudential may be FinTech companies in the traditional sense, this partnership certainly brings the two halves of that term together and could be the start of something big in the financial services space.