Idea Cellular, one of the leading wireless operators in India and Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in mobility solution, have announced today that Private Recharge, a unique electronic recharge service for women is now live in 14 telecom circles in India. Private Recharge allows women customers of Idea to recharge their prepaid mobile connection and pay their postpaid bills, at any retail outlet without revealing their mobile number.
This has been designed keeping in mind security concerns of women customers and their families. It also empowers women as they are no longer dependent on other family members for doing their recharges and paying bills.
In order to initiate the service, the female customer simply needs to generate a ‘Private Code’ by sending ‘CODE’ to SMS shortcode 55515. The ‘Private Code’ is then shared with retailer for completing the electronic recharge, instead of her mobile number. As Private Recharge works through standard SMS service, it can be accessed by all customers via any type of phone in real-time. Idea Cellular’s Private Recharge facility is powered by Mahindra Comviva’s PreTUPS™ electronic recharge solution. PreTUPS™ stores the mapping between the ‘Private Code’ and customer’s actual mobile number and completes the electronic recharge.
Idea Cellular was the first to offer Private Recharge service in India with launch in Kerala circle in August 2016. The service is now available in 14 circles and will be launched pan India this month.
Speaking on the initiative, Mr. Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular said, Ease of access, convenience and privacy are key to customer service at Idea. We were first operator in India to offer Private Recharge service and are now rolling this out on a pan-India level.We are glad that Mahindra Comviva is supporting us in this effort and are confident that this deployment will help us in reaching out to women customers and reassure them on privacy and security related concerns.”
Further elaborating on the concept, Srinivas Nidugondi, Senior VP and Head of Mobile Financial Solutions, Mahindra Comviva said, “We are happy to partner with Idea in their efforts towards supporting women’s right to privacy and security. Private Recharge is an all-inclusive solution which empowers all women, especially in rural areas. We have designed the product keeping in focus consumer’s behavior, cost constraints and education level of resource-poor women in low and middle-income countries like India. We are confident that this product will help Idea to boost the confidence of their female customers and thus empowering them.”
Idea Private Recharge has received global recognition with its nomination in GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards 2017 in ‘Best Mobile Product, Application or Service for Women in Emerging Markets’ category.
Increased access to mobile phone has benefited women in many ways by providing them access to livelihood, education, information, entertainment and security. However, concerns related to sharing mobile number for recharge or bill payment at a retailer outlet discourage them from accessing services. India has a huge mobile gender gap of 28% women versus 43% men who own mobile phone (as per a GSMA survey). To combat these challenges, Private Recharge is uniquely designed for Idea Cellular’s female customers who do not wish to disclose their mobile numbers at retailer.
Mahindra Comviva’s PreTUPS™ is world’s leading electronic recharge and prepaid management solution globally deployed by over 63 operators in 46 countries and used by 12% of world’s population. Mahindra Comviva’s PreTUPS™ clients, especially in South Asia, Middle East and Africa appreciate the Private Recharge concept and recognize its need for ensuring safety and privacy of women in their country.