The telecommunication sector in Pakistan has been heating up with the introduction of new players in the market.Â Gone are the days when maybe link ruled and fooled us to the tune of exorbitant rates and low service. Instead carriers like Telenor are launching newer and more convenience based products coupled with reasonable rates guaranteed to blow you away. The Telenor “Easy Paisa” service is just such a product going into its official launch tomorrow. For this purpose Telenor has invited the bloggers of Karachi and we are all gathering tomorrow at Pearl continental hotel, 3:30 pm for the mega launch. Below are the official company pre release notes for this product, seems exciting so far. I shall be updating this post after the launch tomorrow with my thoughts.
Utility Bills Payment made Easy: Telenor with Tameer Bank is proud to announce the launch of its new brand â€œeasypaisaâ€ Through this brand now not only Telenor customers but every one in Pakistan, cell phone users or not can pay their bills through nearest easy paisa outlet. With the launch there are 2500 retail outlets across Pakistan which will be increased in few months to 8000 retail outlets including Telenor Sales and Service Center and Telenor Franchise. The easypaisa outlet is here to bring convenience in the lives of People of Pakistan, the major attributes of this brand are as follows: Convenience (service at your door step):
- You can pay your utility bill at nearest retail outlet, no need to go to bank
- Avoid queues
- Traveling time reduced for people residing in rural/remote areas.
- After office/late hours
- On weekends/holidays
- On due date after the bank closes
- Confirmation SMS received after bill pay transaction
- 24/7 help line (345) availability (trained call center agents)
Security & Safety:
- Through tight monitoring & Authorized Retail Agents only.
- Assurance (Transaction is completed, legally documented, e.g stamped)
- Online Service-Real Time transaction is generated.
- Take your utility bill and required cash to any easypaisa outlet to pay your utility bill through easypaisa bill payment service
- (Optional) Tell your mobile phone number (any mobile operator) to the agent
- After bill payment, collect the stamped bill having transaction id & agent id
- Check that you have received confirmation message (Transaction ID, Bill Amount).
Apparently Zong has also entered the fray by disclosing about 30 minutes ago that they are are launching a similar product in the market. I found their announcement here and thus queried Telenor on the difference between the two which they have outlined in Comparison_easypaisa_vs_zong In either case I don’t see any harm in more and more positive competition, it can only benefit us consumers!! See you all tomorrow at the launch!!
I arrived at the launch at around 3:20pm, they were still setting up by then and the host Naveen Naqvi was busy rehearsing for her duty this evening. Not that she needs any practice as she was quite brilliant at adding that extra touch of elegance to the proceedings. The event started around 4:20pm, quite apparent that the Islooites had gotten used to KST (Karachi standard time) and was a mixture of speeches by the CEO of the company, Telenor as well as lots of sound, fireworks and ribbon cutting of a product avatar itself as it descended from the heavens in a cacophony of lights and colour.
The product is simple and efficient, you open a bank account with Tameer bank, link it with your telenor phone account and you are then ready to pay your bills without any lines hassle or hurdles whatsoever. Either at the more than 80,000 locations the company has Pakistan wide or in the comfort of your own home. The Ceo described the entire process as a 45 second one if in your own home, upon the completion of which telenor will send you an sms confirmation of your bill being paid. Quite cool for the rushed suburbanite as well as the rural dweller sitting on some charpai up in the mountains.
What made this launch special for me though was not justÂ the show Telenor put on, or the fact that they had 4 tables reserved for “bloggers”.Â A first in recognition of new media in the corporate world, but the company I had. I was joined at the launch by Awab Alvi, Faisal Qureshi and Reema siddiqui as well as Sana Saleem, Tazeen Javed, Farhan Masood, Farhan Chawla, Abid Beli, Discomaulvi, Raja Islam, Sarfaraz sahab and Ammar Faheem. Whilst Naveen lit up the stage our table was lit up byÂ funny as hell conversation, some of which was tweeted for the pleasure of the world to see. I don’t think we would be amiss if I was to claim that the cream of Pakistan’s blog sphere was present at the launch today.Â In fact as Ammar Faheem (the stats guru) efficiently put it, we had perhaps the following of more than many a national newspaper sitting right there on that table. Some of us could not make it because of time and work constraints but they joined in on twitter and that made it all the more fun, Ammar Yasir and Shaista Hussain are just two such examples. A telecom event seamlessly covered/integrated by bloggers via pics and chat both online and offline to show us that yes all this is possible in this country and more. As far as me and Awab were concerned we took many a review of the product featured and look forward to bringing it all to you in the 4th edition of the Laidback show. Hopefully by next week. I would also like to mention that its hard to gather this group of people together and I do not think it would have taken place if it was not for the sobering influence of the situation our friend and blogger Salman Mahmood is going through right now. This is a time for the whole blog sphere in Pakistan to be united, as one of us is in a terrible state, but rest assured we will be with him no matter what!!
Overall a well presented and intriguing experience, may this be just the first step in bringing mainstream corporate culture and the blog sphere together… Pics below have been taken by Raja Islam & are his sole property, All rights reserved!!