Optus launches IOU service for pre-paid users

Vodafone's Australian subsidiary Optus yesterday launched an IOU service for its pre-paid mobile subscribers.

The IOU Credit service, the first of its kind in Australia, allows users to borrow $3 worth of credit by sending a free text message to the number '468'. Next time users re-charge their accounts, they will automatically pay back the IOU.

Customers will only be allowed one outstanding IOU at a time, the service will only work if customers have less than $1.50 in their account, and the unused portion of the credit will expire after 3 days.

Optus currently has around 3.9 million pre-paid customers.

Indian operator Hutch has for some time been offering the 'Borrow Talktime' service, which allows its customers to transfer credit to fellow Hutch subscribers.