O2 MVNO giffgaff has launched into the handset market offering 20 phones and flexible payment options for its members via peer-to-peer lender Ratesetter.
This is giffgaff’s first entrance into handset sales since its launch three years ago.The intial line up ranges from high end smartphones including the HTC One at £505, the LG G2 at £455 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini at £323, to the Nokia 3011 at £71.
The MVNO claimeds it is offering prices whch undercut those offered at Carphone Warehouse, Tesco, Phones 4u, Asda and Argos.
giffgaff has also teamed up with peer-to-peer lender RateSetter to offer members the option to pay for their phone over time. Finance is applied for via giffgaff.com and members can decide how much they would like to pay up front and the time they would like to pay off the remainder.
The amount giffgaff members pay will be determined by the length of repayment time, which ranges from six to 24 months and the initial payment made for the phone, which can be from £50 to £200.
Kim Faura, head of commerce at giffgaff said: ‘This is a really exciting development for giffgaff and one that we’ve worked closely with our members to bring about. Our members want the latest mobile tech but without the burden of a 24 month contract. We’re helping members get the newest phones and take advantage of our great value tariffs without the trade-off that the big mobile networks demand.
‘giffgaff stands for a new way to do mobile, and with our exclusive RateSetter collaboration we’re now offering a new way to buy a handset.’
giffgaff operates a collaborative approach with its members, which includes members being encouraged and rewarded for answering questions on the community forum or helping design a new product. The MVNO said members have been consulted and canvassed throughout the process of launching its handset offering.
Mark Entwistle, product manager at giffgaff said: ‘More than 5,300 members helped us put the range of handsets together. As always, member feedback has played a really important role and following launch we look forward to expanding this range to include the latest, greatest and more of the best handsets out there.
‘Obviously we hope that all our members stay with giffgaff, but we refuse to tie them to us and all of our handsets will be unlocked, so they are free to switch plans or even leave at any time.’
Rhydian Lewis, CEO of RateSetter said: ‘We’re proud to be partnering with giffgaff, a company which shares our belief in reducing the cost of expensive middlemen and passing the savings that produces on to our customers.
'We’ve never before offered direct loans for a single product like a phone, and have spent months developing our systems to manage and mitigate risk in order to handle the increased number of borrowers expected to take out these new, smaller loans.’