I have faced some annoying moments when I go to pay my bills at supermarkets and then I realize that I’ve left my wallet back in my room. I then call my room-mates to check weather it’s there or if they can bring it ! But I don’t think it’s gonna happen again, thanks to “eZ Cash“, a new revolutionary service from Dialog Axiata, the leading mobile service provider in Sri Lanka with over 7.5 million customers.
Dialog already has “eZ Pay” (an mCommerce service currently available for NDB bank & Seylan Bank Credit/ Debit card holders) and “eZ Card Pal” (a way to link your credit card to your mobile number and carry out Dialog bill payments). But “eZ Cash” totally differs from them and does not require you to have a Credit card or even a bank account ! In other words it literally replaces your physical wallet and transforms your mobile phone to a digital wallet with an additional security of a lock(password) ! it’s function is similar to a ‘debit card’ except for the fact you don’t need to carry a card and swipe anywhere ! And the service is approved by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
So how does it work ?
It is a USSD based service and all you have to do is dial #111# from your Dialog Prepaid/ Postpaid connection and follow the steps (including, creating your PIN code) to register, free of charge.(If you are lucky enough you may end up winning up-to Rs.10 000 as an initial top-up from Dialog ! 😀 ) Once registered, you are required to top-up the “wallet” (deposit) at any Dialog eZ Cash points around the country. Upon registration a classic account with a account/ transaction limit of Rs.10 000 is provided and one cane visit any Dialog Service Point to get it upgraded up-to Rs.25 000 limit. You can even withdraw the money at any eZ Cash points.
That’s it ! Dial #111# anytime and you are ready to perform a transaction.
1- sending or receiving cash direct from your mobile to any Dialog customer.
2- paying your Dialog bills (Mobile, TV, CDMA & Broadband) and utility bills (NWSDB, CEB, LECO & SLT)
3- Paying for the purchases at and eZ Cash supporting merchants, etc…
Since most of the transactions can be done from wherever you are, it is convenient and hassle free. You can also request for a mini statement via USSD. ( Refer here for more instructions) And you are required to enter the PIN code (like in ATM machines) before any transaction, so it is more secure too.
Also note that (obviously) there is a service fee for certain transactions. Refer the “pricing” tab here for the detailed information. I did a simple bill payment (refer above picture) with the free top-up Dialog offered and it worked just fine ! You get an error message when you don’t have enough funds. (refer number 7 above). I hope the interactions at the eZ cash points will be smooth too and that the merchants will be educated well on the subject, too. Dialog has a dedicated short hotline (7111) for the service (no need to dial the general line and wait !).
I feel that this service has a huge potential. In my case it is more convenient since I don’t use a credit card. So I don’t need to wait in ques at Cargills with my debit card to pay the bills. And I hope other service providers too will join the race and we can expect more promotions from Dialog & the merchants. Dialog did a commendable job with the introduction of this innovative service (that can be accessed by anyone across the country even without a bank account) and two thumbs up for them !
P.S : Any phone can be used for the service since it is accessed via USSD method. But there seems to be an incompatibility issue of USSD methods (that have multiple reply options) on Windows Phone 7 (WP7) devices. Dialog has informed via twitter that they are looking into a solution for users with WP7 devices. There seem to be some workaround ways, but they will not provide the best user experience. Let’s hope for the best, though ! 🙂