Easy Paisa, What is Missing?

Easy Paisa by Telenor has been launched. If we see the scope of Easy Paisa right now, it is little disappointing, due the amount of time and money Telenor invested into the project. However, one can get excited because of the potential Telenor has got due to its stakes in Tameer Bank. As Telenor already claims, they can/will offer financial transactions related to sending/receiving money within Pakistan and from abroad through mobile phones.

Telenor can enjoy the benefits of no e-commerce infrastructure in Pakistan, by offering payments through Easyload and then redemption through their outlets. Consider following case study, for instance…

There is this website, that wants to sell laptop skins – but as we know, no bank in Pakistan can get this online (website) seller the solution for getting payments through credit card. Here Telenor can play a role, prototype of which is defined as following

  1. Website visitor or let’s call him/her buyer sends Rs. 400 easy load to website owner (on his Telenor Number)
  2. Website owner or the seller receives and confirms the payment
  3. Website owner/seller ships the laptop skin to the buyer
  4. Website owner redeems that easy load through Tameer bank or Easy Paisa Outlet.

Let’s discuss this another scenario,

If Party A wants to send Party B Rs. 100,000, then consider following flow chart

  1. Party A goes to Easy Paisa Outlet
  2. Party A pays Rs. 100,000 in cash at outlet,
  3. Easy Paisa Outlet sends Rs. 100,000 to Party B on his/her Telenor Number
  4. Party B goes to Easy Paisa Outlet,
  5. Party B receives money from Easy Paisa outlet, by showing providing the transaction message along with authentication

Note: Maybe Party A and Party B, both should be the account holders, or registered members of Easy Paisa

Of course, this prototype didn’t include security and privacy concerns, but the end product with increased security and logging can really change the way masses do their banking.

We are aware that there needs a legislation in the process, but after the study of branchless banking regulation, it is evident that such a mechanism is possible.

However, it is a good start – but true return on Telenor’s investment is highly based on upcoming products from Easy Paisa.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Adil

    Its just a start. I am confident that the company will grow by time

  • Ahmed

    The dynamics of the service at later stages would prove to be a challenge.

  • Sahzhad

    but but but when you do an easyload of 100Rs then telenor or any mobile company does not transfer full 100Rs …. they deduct 20% sales tax on it :-(

    I think they have to reduce their charges …. 15Rs for Utility Bill payments is too much …. Nadra and Zong are doing it for free :-)

    • They are supposed to not to deduct any taxes,
      Reason: This money will only be redeemed, and not to be used for voice/SMS/GPRS or any other telecom service

      • Sahzhad

        In that case, yes this would be a great solution …. but still there will be service charges :-(

      • Hammad Bhatti

        so then whats in there for telenor in this service?

        dont you think this will change the scop of company, which is a mobile phone company, not a bank at the end.

        • Hamad that’s what we call Mobile Commerce, also Branch-less banking that Telenor is actually claiming for.

          BTW, Telenor isn’t an ISP too, but they are offering EDGE services – interesting na?

          • noor

            EDGE stands for what

  • A.D.

    @sahzad, zong is accepting utiltiy bills only at their CSC and nadra kiosk is not available widely (and for a layman, kiosk is a useless thing). As for Telenor, u can pay bills at 2000 locations and the quantity of these locations will surely multiply rapidly..! so i think Telenor’s service charges are well justified

    • Sahzhad

      For Zong … I agree but may be they will allow their retailer to privde the service too …one day I hope :-)
      but for Nadra I donot…. I have seen many NADRA points in many ruler areas …. :-)
      Anyway, when someone introduce some service then they should target the masses …. the ppl. who can pay 15/25Rs at telenor to avoid long queue are already rich enough that they were not even standing in those queues before these services…. the one who were suffering from those long queue were those who earn their money in very hard way and will always pay their bill on last day and for those even 1Re is too much :-( …..

  • A.D.

    yeah, i agree but its just a start for telenor, hopefully they will reduce the charges in future

  • Ahsan

    Ubl is providing the service u have mentioned in above scenerio.
    Its called UBL ORION.
    You can send money to any mobile number and the other party can redeem it from the bank.

  • omerfarooq

    Can’t understand, On one hand they are moving away from Pakistan.
    And, On other hand they are investing heavily.

    • Faheem

      Omer, Who told u that Telenor is moving away from Pakistan :) ?

  • A better scenario would be this:

    A goes to an e-paisa type outlet and pays cash. In return he gets electronic money into his account (just like easy load service). An account is opened for him the first time he does this. He is able to check balance of his account through sms.

    He is also able to send money to another account holder through sms (just like balance share service).

    If any of them want cash back, they go to the outlet and send the amount to the shopkeeper through sms. The shopkeeper gives them cash.

    What do you think about this model?

  • pro desi

    Bank Alflaha customer can get all this for past 3 years…. whats new here?

    • Adnan

      The new part is
      1. U can send money to anyone who doesn’t even have an account
      2. U can do this via thousands of branchless banking agents
      3. U can do this from ur home if u have a mobile wallet.

  • obaid saeed

    I think it’s a good move by telenor
    I watched the interview of john eddy Abdullah (ceo telenor)
    He says there is much more in pipeline.& this will be claimed a global product v soon.
    So keep waiting guys with open eyes

  • Usman

    Telenor’s EP is a good product as far as convenience is concerned. But this is not Mobile commerce. Even non-mobile customers can pay their bills.

    About service charges, Telenor is charging Rs.10/15/25 for this service, but most of the consumers don’t know that there is already a charge of Rs.8 in every utility bill as service charges for the collecting party. Where will those Rs.8 go? Also, this facility is not available 24/7…. you cannot pay your bill at 2:00am in the morning when there isnt any shop open…specially in Islamabad.

    In my opinion, true M-commerce products currently existing in Pakistan are Mobilink Genie and Mobilink Mobile Money Order. In Mobilink Genie, you can connect your bank account to your mobilink number and pay utility bills through your mobile phone anytime, anywhere. In Mobile Money Order (MMO), you can open an account in Post Office and deposit money into that. To transfer money to any Mobilink subscriber, you don’t have to go to post office. You can do that by just sending an SMS. You can also send money to any Mobilink subscriber even if he/she is not registered for MMO. The receiver can then go to Post Office to receive money. you can also use MMO account as bank account and hold money into that as long as you want.

    I have used all these services including Telenor’s EasyPaisa, but i found Genie and MMO more convenient and I think this is true Mobile Commerce.

    By the way, I am not a Mobilink employee :P

    • Faheem

      Usman, first of all the service charges are 10/15/20 not 25.

      Secondly, to use Mobilink Genie, you have to have a bank account whereas easypaisa doesn’t impose and will not impose any such limitation on its offering.

    • Aragorn

      The problem with mobilink MMO is :
      1. Remitted and beneficiary both have to be mobilink customers
      2. Beneficiary cannot be a non-mobile phone user
      3. Service restricted to postal office outlets unlike the reach of branchless banking agents.

  • AAmran

    Zong launched their bill payment service few hrs before . Zong is not offering this service at retailers outlet . very much immature project . They have completed this project within 3 to 4 days , Because they know that telenor is about to Launch this service .
    One of their Manger in Islamabad got the clue that telenor is about to launch this service. . ……. There are major difference in Easy paisa and zong Bill payment solution . Zong haired the same vendor which is working for moblink .
    One the other hand Tameer bank is there for telenor .

    Telenor Will Offer
    Nationwide remittance
    International remittance
    Loans
    Mobile money

    And many more ………………….

  • rayyan

    Don’t agree with you Aamran, its about competition, even telenor and mobilink do the same as Zong do, however the service is quite different if you compare EP with Zong bill payment,
    EP will take some time to establish…on the other hand Zong is in process to empower his retailers to do the same.

  • Junaid Asghar

    I think the product matches well with telenor’s sales strategy to tap the market in semi urban and rural areas. Yes you can do mobile banking as well as pay utility bills through internet banking but that’s a limited market owing to low literacy and limited internet usage.

    Telenor thus offers this product to those who are not skilled on internet and mobile EDGE applications and that is quite a big market. The only deterrence in some cases could be the additional charges and that’s what time will show whether ppl have time to stand in lines or not…in my opinion we have a lot of time to save a few rupees as can be seen from the long lines outside the sarkari CNG station in islamabad

    perhaps time will show how successful this becomes but it’s good that ordinary consumers are being given choices….whether the marketing spend is justifiable is something i doubt but then marketing spend is absurd when it comes to mobile companies in any case.

  • Hy All,
    I have read all these discussion above & want to add some thing for your knowledge. As already describe by AD & Ammran & junaid, its start up of Branch less banking. I want to tell you that there is around 90, million users of mobile phone in Pakistan ut you know that there is only 20 mil peoples have a reach of banking services in over all the country. and the remaining people have the financial potential but they are untouched by current banking system & tameer bank has a moto of empowering the unbanked.

    The coming products are very useful for these people. Do you know that in rural areas, people pay Rs 50 to 70 in transportation for paying their utility bills & also spend a time for minmum 2 hrs. and this service of easy paisa is costing yo only 10 to 15 as average bills are within 1000 rs . You have to also consider that the telenor has to pay commission to retailer for providing this service.& bank charges which is iclude in bill is rs 8 while cost of offering this product is high , there for service charges is included. However if the transactions through this product is sucess full , then the charges should be minimized in future as we have to see over all cost.

  • Usman Javaid

    AOA All

    Telenor EP is a good initiative but they are not the firs mover in this domain. Initially NADRA introduced the concept of Utility bills payment which is a more comprehensive payment mechanism as the user can find their current month’s bill in the system. It was first a Kiosk led model which is now replaced with approx 3000 franchises spread across the country with major density in rural areas. Many banks also tried to introduce the same service such as Askari bank ,Bank Alfalah and others. I remember even warid users could pay there bills but I don’t know if this service is still in place.

    The launch of easy paisa via utility bills payment is humble start. I am sure with time TP would be introducing many new services in this domain as there is a huge UN tapped market where banks have never reached.

    Also I would like to inform readers that Pakistan first e payment gateway has been officially launched by Raseen Technologies. So we have e-commerce platform in Pakistan now.

    Between I was surprised to know that TP is charging 10/15/25 rs per transaction. This is quite a huge amount.

    • Faheem

      Rs. 10 for a bill upto Rs. 1000
      Rs. 15 for a bill between Rs. 1000 and 4000 and Rs. 20 for a bill over Rs. 4000

      Secondly, 50% share / commission goes directly to the retailer / EP Agent. I found out about these service charges and retailer’s commission on an EP outlet.. and the kind of service and convenience, TP is providing to its customer, I think these service charges are negligible.

  • AAmran

    Dear rayyan
    if we compare EP with Moblink and zong there is big difference . These days we are talking abt branch less banking . they are just providing bill payment . moblink is having 7 Java based hand set for bill payment same goes for zong . Here in Ep we are talking abt 200,000 retail outlets . there is no comparison Bwt Ep and other services .

    Riasat i agree with u ….

  • Walyd

    Telenor’s service is pretty pathetic. Let me explain how..

    Customer: Send SMS with ep to a short code (SMS 1)
    Telenor: Welcome, to ep, wat would u like to do,
    1.Pay Bill 2.Find Merchant location 3. Other Info

    Customer: SMS’s 1 for Bill Payment (SMS 2)
    Telenor: Which bill would you like to pay 1. Electricty 2. Landline 3. Gss

    Customer: SMS’s 1 for Electricty (SMS 3)
    Telenor: Which utility compay do you want to pay for 1. KESC 2. HESCO 3. Other

    Customer: SMS’s 1 for KESC (SMS 4)
    Telenor: Please send your consumer ID to a short code

    Customer: Sends consumer ID for KESC (SMS 5)
    Telenor: Sends bill month, date, due date and amount and tells the customer now you may go to any EP outlet to pay your bill

    So you see it takes 5 SMS for the customer to just get his bill info. Of course one can argue hey dont you get your bill in the mail but duhhhh whatever happened to “mobile par paisay ki lain dain”.

    Better Option: Mobilink Genie. Allows customers to pay their utility bill “right from the mobile while sitting home or wherever you are”, this service has been out there for almost 5 months..but thanks to lack of adequate advertisement by Mobilink not many people know of it..n Genie has LESCO and IESCO as well ;)

  • anamkhan

    @walyd

    can a person who dont have a mobile still can pay bill through mobilink genie?

    becuase for easypaisa a person even without a mobile can go to easypaisa shop and can pay the bills

    next can a person use mobilink genie without gprs the answer is no but with easypaisa you can

    see easypaisa is here to bring convenience in the life’s of all pakistani’s plus mobilink genie hs three banks on the panel , u need to have account in one of the three banks only then you can pay the bill through mobilink genie whereas easypaisa dont ask for your bank account :)

    hope i have a clear the difference

  • Walyd

    @Anam

    Totally agreed Anam..there definitely need to be more banks on board Mobilink Genie..and yes there is a constraint of GPRS..

    Mobilink Genie has a we interface as well that can be used to make the payment..so the constraint on GPRS and having a mobile phone is no more.plus as I hear it from the market an SMS based version is in the line as well.which will again remove the constraint on having GPRS activated…

    also when one talks about “convenience”, I believe Genie is more convenient..that is you may pay from the comfort of your home…

    in case of easypaisa…its like leaving the long lines of the banks and getting into line outside an easy paisa outlet..and again the individuals still have to leave their home to pay the bills..plus as mentioned in my earlier post…easypaisa has less utility companies on board..

    Zong has also launched its bill payments a little before easy paisa and has almost all the major utility companies as well…thus again a better option than ep..

    On a side not there are nearly 37 million mobile
    phone users in Pakistan nearly 22% of the Pakistani population and with the current pentration rates of mobile usage..the number is bound to go up…

    the only constraint that remains is on having a bank account..a m ajor concern yes..but thats what the aim of these services is..that to bank the the unbanked population of Pakistan…

    please note that that i am not biased about Telenor launching ep..the only concern i have is the their advertisements are quite misleading..there is no, repeat no “branchless banking” concept involved in simple bill payments…ye sthey plan on a remmitance services but then that needs to be communicated when the service is launched not before that…

    hope you understand what my point is…

  • Usman

    @Faheem, just want to correct you here. The service charges are Rs.10/15/25 for bills upto Rs.1000/1001-4000/4000+ respectively. Also the revenue share is not 50% to the retailer. The retailer only gets 12% of service charges. 48% goes to the franchise under whose jurisdiction the retailer is operating and the remaining 40% goes to Telenor & Tameer Bank.

  • anamkhan

    @Walyd

    See what you are saying is not there, mobilink still have only genie service that match to easypaisa bill payment service but constraints are these gprs and panel banks, plus the penetration of mobile users is 90 million whereas banking penetration is 20 million, what easypaisa has done is that they have made bill payments as easy as going to a retailer and paying it off at their. ZOng has this service only at its customer service centers, total count 20 whereas easypaisa rite now has more than 30000 retailers on board. see the scope of business we are talking here. Mobilink genie is targeting only the high end class who use GPRS and have banking accounts. see the literacy rate in Pakistan, then rate of GPRS usage in Pakistan. Walyd lets talk about Pakistan not u and me who are internet savvy.

    Hope you will get the answer

  • Walyd

    @Anam

    Anam compare “as easy as going to a retailer and paying it off at their” and “as easy staying home, not going anywhere and paying whenever, wherever”.

    but that besides the fact.i think I have not been able to convey what my real point was and I think I did not emphasize it that much.

    There is no branchless banking about paying the bills at a retailer as Telenor has portrayed in its TV commercials. This is not branchless banking, this is not mobile commerce and its definitely not “mobile par paisai ki lain dain”.

    I am pretty sure u have heard about Mobilink’s Mobile Money Order. Its an SMS based service for money order and is being used widely and that too by the unfortunate less mobile or internet savvy. And as I said in my last post an SMS based version is to be out soon.

    Genie is not just targeting the “high end class” so to say but by delivering services over 3 channels namely, mobile, web and SMS, it is targeting a much broader customer base.

    How can u say that easy paisa services, as they are right now, dont match with Genie? Let me just list down what Genie services are:

    1. Buy Jazz pre-paid time
    2. Pay Mobilink Indigo Bill
    3. Buy Insurance
    4. Pay for all major utilities, please note
    ep does not have LESCO.
    5. Inter bank fuds transfer

    EP = bill payments, full stop.

    Ma’am, if you want to view the scope of the business then 3 banks now do not matter. With so much going on in the m-commerce industry u should look to the future, and its still in the infant stages. Once it picks up, I guarantee u that all major banks will be on board, just give it one more year. HBL is on the way ;)

    and on a side note enjoy this:

    http://www.apnatime.com/?p=1285&cpage=1#comment-41

  • SK

    Aamir here’s the 2nd example of getting outdated posts/articles in the daily.

  • yasir

    fuck the telenor service message kr k kehtai hain apna easy paisa account block kr diya gya hai 345 pai call kr k unblock krwa lain message sending date 9/9/2014 9:28 AM

    aur jb 345 pai call krain tu wo kehtai hain 3737 pai call kro half an hours laga k 345 pai call ki plus 3 rupai b dedicate krwai

    aur jb 3737 pai call krtain hai wo kehtain hain system down hai baad mein call krain response at the time 9/9/2014 11:45 AM

    What the fuck is that ek toppo ki salami hai app ki service ko majbor tu ham log hain BC