Facilitating Consumer Payments through Mobile, Web & Self Service Kiosks for BSNL :: Forbes Technosys Limited


  • Project Category :
    Best use of ICT for Public Sector Units (PSU)

    Details of Applicant :

    Name : Anuj Sahu
    Address : Forbes Technosys Limited, Plot No. C – 17, 18; Road No. 16, Wagle Industrial Estate
    City : Thane-West
    State : Maharashtra
    Country : India
    Zip Code : 400604

    Details of Project/Implementing Agency :

    Name of Organisation : Forbes Technosys Limited
    Address : Plot No. C – 17, 18; Road No. 16, Wagle Industrial Estate
    City : Thane -West
    State : Maharashtra
    Country : India
    Zip Code : 400604

    Name of the head of Organisation : Mr. Ajay Singh

    Websitehttp://www.forbestechnosys.com

    Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :

    The project was started to provide any time bill payment services to Telecom consumers so that they don’t have to stand in long queues for making their payments. The machines are popularly called as Automatic Bill Payment Machines (ABPM) or Any Time Payment (ATP) as they are commonly referred to in BSNL offices. Anytime Bill payment accepts bill payments through cash & cheque and updates the payment details in the intermediate server, installed at Forbes premises, which in turn is connected to the BSNL server. Rollout of the project across India was a challenging task as BSNL billing system work on different software applications for eg. Dotsoft, CDR, etc. Even the same software application e.g. Dotsoft or CDR have different formats & versions which totally differ from one district to another district. Even the file formats of each & every BSNL District SSA differs substantially from another. Thus Integrating Forbes Technosys standardized software application with different BSNL SSAs (Districts), with the necessary customizations for each SSA was a daunting task. Forbes eventually succeeded in integrating, installing & implementing the project across 155 BSNL locations and over 2000 franchisee touch-points, which brought in a completely new approach for bill payments. Currently Forbes has more than 2000 touch points in the form of Self Service Kiosks and a Franchisee network, where recharges & bill payments are done through the Web and/or mobile phone

    Why was the project started :

    The initiative began when the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) suggested to the Nagpur BSNL SSA to have alternate payment platforms, where customers can pay bills anytime without having to stand in long queues at payment counters or being restricted by business hours of the branch. The BCG report was then shared with the BSNL circle offices & then shared with BSNL HO Delhi office. BSNL HO bought into the idea & invited proposals for implementing such a payment platform. Forbes Technosys submitted a proposal for providing deployment of Automatic Bill Payment Machines for BSNL. The project was taken up by Budget, Financial Control & Investment division of BSNL – HO and they named the project ‘BSNL Smile’, which was communicated internally to all the circle offices & District SSAs.

    Objective : Customer convenience coupled with updates on billing systems

    Target group : Telecom Consumers & BSNL

    Please Specify Reach Within India : PAN India

    Please Specify Reach Outside India : None

    Date from which the project became operational : 09/01/2008

    Is the Project still operational : Yes

     

    10 points that make the programme/project innovative?

    1.   The Any Time payment Machines are the future, there is scope for enormous scalability
    2.   With the introduction of prepaid power, these ATP machines will be key to its success
    3.   More and more Utility companies are interested in providing hassle free payment channels to their customers thus using the existing BSNL kiosks for other utility payment, thus offering an alternate channel to other utilities also.
    4.   Already, we have received orders from most of the other Utilities like Power companies to expand the network
    5.   As there is no capex involved for the BSNL, they can rapidly expand their geographic presence and provide their customers a pleasant experience while they pay their bills
    6.   Customers are provided a receipt for every transactions
    7.   Customers are assisted by a Promotional executive to carry out the transactions
    8.   The Project has enabled expanded reach to the Telecom companies without any capital investments for their side, further accepting multiutility payments of non competing billers’ bill payment on these platforms facilitated on the usage & usability of these platforms.
    9.   Our company has carried out an ened-to-end implementation –ie from design to manufacture to deployment and operations
    10.   Earlier similar projects undertaken by different companies falied due to a variety of reasons, however Forbes Technosys knock off all the challenges & succeeded in the final implementation of Multiutility payment grid network

     

    5 achievements of the programme /project/ initiative :

    1. Collections of over Rs 100 crores a month at 155 locations
    2. Over 4 lakh consumers are benefiting from these any time payment machines
    3. BSNL have successfully provided an alternate payment channel to their customer saving them the trouble of standing in long queues
    4. Consumer response has been fantastic
    5. Consumers are very happy with their payment experience


    List  5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme /project/initiative and how they were overcome?

    1. Finalizing viable locations for the Kiosks
    2. On-line connectivity
    3. Recruiting, mobilizing & training people in various locations
    4. Adoption rate and migration from counters to ATP machines
    5. Machine adapting to local conditions of heat,dust etc

     

    List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative :

    1. The Any Time payment Machines are the future, there is scope for enormous scalability
    2. With the introduction of prepaid power, these ATP machines will be key to its success
    3. More and more Utility companies are interested in providing hassle free payment channels to their customers thus using the existing BSNL kiosks for other utility payment, thus offering an alternate channel to other utilities also.
    4. Already, we have received orders from most of the other Utilities like Power companies to expand the network
    5. As there is no capex involved for the BSNL, they can rapidly expand their geographic presence and provide their customers a pleasant experience while they pay their bills
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