The next time you walk into a mobile phone store, ask for 100 active prepaid SIM cards and see the look their faces, suggests Hein Koen, director mobile telecoms service provider Flickswitch.

The fact is, prepaid is often not seen as an option by businesses. But many businesses, using the right tools, are starting to adopt prepaid SIMs on a large scale for both employee and other mobile devices.

Prepaid for business? Yes, it’s a thing.

Businesses in new era of telecoms are looking for ways to have more control and flexibility on what they spend on mobile devices. Businesses are also deploying more SIMs than ever before.

Technologies such as telemetry, mobile workforces, fintech and Internet of Things devices means that companies often need to manage thousands of device SIM cards. This has brought about complexity and risk that is increasingly difficult to manage.

Prepaid SIMs have two defining features that delivers on what companies want – cost management and flexibility. Going prepaid eliminates the risk of “bill shock”, as each SIM can be capped to only consume what it needs to. Also, because there are no long-term contracts, it gives businesses total flexibility to instantly activate or deactivate a SIM as their operations require. This means no more contract periods that don’t match up with operational requirements.

But managing prepaid SIMs at scale can be tricky. How do companies ensure that SIMs are monitored and topped up as they need? Luckily, with the evolution of web-based services, the tools are now available for businesses to manage large numbers of SIM cards cost-effectively, easy, reliably and quickly. Linked to bulk SIM supply and activation, the pain traditionally associated with prepaid is a thing of the past.

Businesses are also starting to make their employees responsible for their own data spend. With runaway data costs causing tricky HR issues, many companies are allocating a set amount of data to each role. If employees want to spend more, they can gladly top up at their own cost.

And what if prepaid doesn’t work for them? Because the company is the owner of the SIM, it can be moved to any contract plan without replacing the actual SIM. Easy as that.

All of this has opened up a new era for prepaid in business. Yes, it’s a thing.