This Post was made Jointly by Asif and Osama.
UBL Orion: Mobile Wallet
UBL has a few days back launched its new product “Orion”, a payment solution via your gsm service cellular phone. The concept of this new service product is enabling your cell phone to make payments against selected/authorized products and services that you avail. You can see the demo here.
How does Orion function?
The user level functional description is that a GSM subcriber needs to open an Orion Account with UBL. Just deposit amount (refundable/withdrawable) in the Orion virtual account and start spending by way of paying bills, purchasing/loading cellular service prepaid balance, share/gift money to other Orion account holders etc. Regular call charges/tarriffs apply on Orion transactions. The Orion service charges are separately payable to UBL.
Examples of usage are payment of utility bills via a SMS command from your cell phone, recharging your cellular connection via an SMS purchase request or gifting Rs.1,000/- to your younger brother on his birthday.
Or payment of your restaurant dinner bill through your cell to a virtual merchant account, purchase of an air-ticket, ordering Starbucks latte and paying while on way to office with the latte ready at the takeaway counter, buying and sending movie tickets to kids via cell phone, dialing a bail for your son…
Thoughts (added by Osama)
This solution was developed by Techlogix, and from what I know it is carrier independent — you use this solution over any cellphone capable of SMSes, and the messages are routed directly to the Orion hosted data-centers (Cybernet is an unconfirmed host for this data)
There is some concern over the protection of privately protected data, but otherwise this can turn out to be the first huge step on the path to enabling E-Commerce in Pakistan.
Kudos to everyone involved in making it happen.
Unfortunately, this may not be great news for the other people trying to make moves in this market, such as Amaana, Inov8 and others.