Du enables payments on the move

The SMS channel is the mobile payment aspect of the offering and when a subscriber registers his credit card and sets up a passcode he can use it to make payments across all access channels.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  April 4, 2007

The UAE’s second all-service provider du has beaten incumbent Etisalat to another first through the introduction of a mobile-payment system that allows du subscribers – prepaid and postpaid alike - to recharge their lines or pay their bills instantly anytime, anywhere, through their mobile devices. The system is a registration-based product, and subscribers can register for the service over the web, within a du store, or by calling through to an automated IVR (interactive voice recognition system). A credit card is required in order to register for the service, and once its details are recorded, the customer is issued with a registration code through an SMS, which is then used to set up his personal passcode. This is done by dialling a short code number – 135 – and via an automated IVR the subscriber confirms his registration, after which he selects a personal six-digit passcode. This passcode is then used to make any subsequent transactions, and works a bit like an ATM pin number in so much as whenever a customer needs to make a payment over SMS or through the call centre, for instance, he is asked for part of that passcode. The subscriber will never be asked for the whole of the passcode, and instead will be asked for only two digits. Subscribers also have the ability to pay for more than one account. The SMS channel is the mobile payment aspect of the offering and when a subscriber registers his credit card and sets up a passcode he can use it to make payments across all access channels. To recharge a prepaid account using SMS, the subscriber keys in the letters R-E-C-H-A-R-G-E on his phone, leaves a space and then places the amount he would like to pay. The amount has to be at least AED20 (US$5.40) and must be rounded to the next dirham. This is sent free of charge to the SMS short code 135, and an automatic response is generated requiring the subscriber to identify two randomly selected numbers in his passcode. The subscriber sends these digits to the same short code and after the money has been successfully charged to the corresponding credit card, the customer receives a SMS confirming the payment has been effected and his account has been credited. The same procedure is followed with postpaid subscribers, though they are required to key in the letters P-A-Y in order to settle bills and they do not have a minimum transaction amount. Du intends to ultimately expand this functionality to transactions that involve third parties. Market leader Etisalat is set to introduce a similar pavement-on-the-move service in the next 4-6 weeks.

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