2013 Mobile Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage





Project Overview

The Recharge Now App is a fast and easy alternative to traditional account recharge options for Optus prepaid customers.

Recharge Now removes the need to find a store, dial-in and enter long sequences of numbers in order to topup. You can easily check your balance and choose from available topup options.

By uniquely allowing customers to recharge up to five separate prepaid services, parents and mobile broadband users can easily manage their spend on multiple devices.

Emagine's User-First approach to design and integration has ensured consistently high ratings (4 stars) in the Apple and Android App stores.

Project Commissioner

Prepaid Services (A Division of Optus)

Project Creator

Emagine International


Greg Armstrong, Emagine International: Programme Management, End-To-End Experience.
Farzin Frank, Emagine International: Service Operations
Propaganda Panda: App User Experience, Creative Design, Development
Funke Labs: Server-Side User Experience, Development, Systems Integration

Project Brief

As one of Australia's leading mobile companies, users expect a very high level of customer experience from Optus's mobile Apps.

When challenged to create an App for prepaid users to topup their accounts, Emagine International's key focus was to provide an experience that was fast, secure and very easy to use.

From a user-experience perspective it was critical to keep it simple while Emagine's Prepaid Recharge platform handled the complexities of payment processing, security, integration to Optus' systems and customer support tools.

With iPhone, iPad, Android Phone and Android Tablet platforms to support, the experience has to be consistent on a broad range of devices.

Project Need

Traditional ways to topup a prepaid mobile account can be cumbersome for users; busy retail staff, long voucher numbers to enter and special dialling codes can lead to frustrations for users and delays in being able to use their mobile. Users want to make the most of their credit, but hate not being able to use their phone while they get to a store for a voucher.

Emagine International was challenged to create an App for Optus's customers with a faster and more convenient experience and provide a better alternative to traditional recharge options.

By taking a User-First approach to the end-to-end experience including the App's interface, backend integration, testing and customer support the team focussed on providing the best possible user experience regardless of the technical mechanics involved.

The ability to easily recharge up to five separate prepaid services took a challenge with a degree of technical complexity and made it a simple experience; allowing parents to top-up their teenager kids and power-users to easily topup their tablet and mobile from the same place.

User Experience

A key focus of the design was to streamline and simplify the topup process as much as possible; hiding the complexity of the technology and business processes.

Users simply download the app from their app store and register for an account. It only takes a few minutes and users have the option of storing their credit/debit card details to recharge immediately, or skipping this step and adding the card later. Once setup, it's a simple process to add other services and to recharge.

The user can immediately see their prepaid balance in real-time.

Family members can request a recharge by texting the letter "r" to 7777. The app user is notified of the top up request and can immediately recharge.

To top up users simply select from the options available for their prepaid rate plan, enter their password and they are immediately topped up. A receipt is sent by email and there is a full log of all activity through the app. No more looking for a retailer, and entering long voucher numbers.

The app is designed to be fully self-serviceable; all settings and preferences can be changed from within the app.

Tablet users have an optimised experience; making use of the extra screen space and automatically detecting the mobile number of the device to present balance information.

Reviews and ratings in both App Stores have been consistently high; reflecting very positive feedback we receive regularly from users.

Project Marketing

The app is marketed by Optus to their prepaid customers through a variety of communication channels including the Optus website, SIM packs and other sales collateral.

New customers joining Optus prepaid with smartphones receive a notification text with a link to download the application.

A dedicated mini-site explains the features to users.

The positive reviews and high ratings in the app store are critical to support discovery on the App store and word of mouth; ultimately driving high engagement from users who can see the value in other user's terms.

This category relates to utility applications such as text edit, diary, translator, document viewer, industry directory.
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