Local search listing platform Askme has tied-up with Aircel for operator billing services on a pay-per-lead basis.
Businessmen who have an Aircel connection can sign up for the service using it. When a user finds their listing on Askme and gets in touch with the business via the details listed, the convenience fee will be charges directly to the phone bill rather than to a credit card. Companies like Askme and JustDial charge businesses based on the leads they get from the service.
Askme also lets people search its listings by calling them at 54422. Customers are charged a fee of Rs 1 per minute for these calls. The search service is available only over voice calls as of now and Askme states that it will roll out an app next month.
How it works: Companies who have an Aircel connection can list their business free of charge on Askme. According to the arrangement, these businesses will be charged on a pay-per-lead model by Aircel and will only pay for leads generated in the form of calls. This service will be based on an operator billing system, i.e. the service charges for all qualified leads are billed directly on the entrepreneur’s Aircel account, both prepaid and postpaid.
The company has not revealed how much it charges businesses for each lead, and whether the entrepreneur’s approval is required before getting billed. Besides, operator billing solutions can get tricky with a prepaid connection as the customer is often charged in realtime.
Other telecom-search partnerships
– Earlier this year, AskMe had partnered with Tencent’s mobile messaging app WeChat to provide location-specific local searches, deals and classifieds through an official account ‘AskMeSearch’ on WeChat.
– Askme’s parent company GetIt tied up with telecom operator Loop Mobile to launch Get It On Loop. It had also tied up with Aircel to offer its information and classified ads service through voice to Aircel subscribers.
– Another local search player, AskLaila had also tied up with Airtel to offer local search services through WAP, SMS, USSD and DTH across 6 cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bangalore.
– AskLaila also powers Tata Docomo’s local search services to its subscribers, which allows Tata Docomo subscribers to search for places around them through SMS, WAP or through a dedicated app which can be downloaded by sending ‘Search’ to 53333.
– In 2008, Loop mobile which was then known as BPL mobile, had launched a USSD and SMS based service called “Mumbai Search @cafe”, which allowed BPL Mobile users to search for local information.