Telecom operator Aircel has launched a Facebook app which allows subscribers to recharge their Aircel number through the platform. This is probably the first time any telecom operator have used Facebook to provide recharge service, although Tata Docomo had launched a Twitter recharge app called Twittcom last year in May.
The company seems to have partnered with Smartrefill.in, an Indian subsidiary of the Swedish company Smart Refill for this initiative, Smart Refill offers mobile services across various segments like mobile banking, mobile payment, mobile operator services and mobile travel services. The company had earlier tied up with Aircel for Pocket recharge initiative.
When we checked, we noticed that one can head over to the Facebook app and enter their Aircel number, following which the app offers various recharge options for 2G data, 3G data, talktime top-up, SMS Pack, Rate cutter, SMS & Data packs, and roaming packs among others. One can choose their preferred product and recharge amount to make the payment.
The app currently offers only Credit and Debit card payment options at the time of writing this article. We feel that Aircel should’ve provided more payment options like Net Banking and Cash cards to their subscribers. More payment options increases the chances of users opting for a service, since many of them don’t have or are quite vary of providing their credit card and debit card details.
Moving against the stream
Aircel has launched quite a few services/products against the industry norms. In January 2013, while all telcos were complaining about free roaming, Aircel had gone against the grain by launching a tariff voucher which gives users the same rate of 1p/second for voice, free incoming calls while roaming, local and national SMS at Re 1, and the same rate for data applicable across the country.
In April 2013, it had partnered with RCOM allowing both the companies to share their mobile towers to offer a pan-India 2G Intra-circle roaming (ICR) coverage to subscribers of both the networks. This essentially means that RCOM and Aircel 2G GSM users will not have to pay any extra roaming charges on their networks.
Earlier this month, Facebook had said that it has 78 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India for the quarter ending March 31, 2012, registering a 50% increase from the same quarter last year. This is quite a significant number for brands to target. Besides, it appears that companies are slowly moving away from trying to amass fans for their Facebook pages to convert them as customers and a Facebook application provides that opportunity to brands.
(With Inputs From Vikas SN)