Dialog 'eZ cash' attracts 800,000
Sri Lanka's first ever mobile money service Dialog 'eZ Cash',
introduced by Dialog Axiata, is getting popular day by day among its
customers and the company has announced that around 800,000 new
customers have registered with the 'eZ cash' service since its launch in
The 'eZ Cash' offers payment solutions to people without access to
traditional financial service institutions. This service enables over
7.5 million Dialog active subscribers to make secure cashless
transactions from any Dialog mobile phone at any given time. Customers
could now send and receive money, settle utility bills and make payments
for goods and services through the Dialog mobile phone at a cheaper
Fariq Cader, Senior General Manager Dialog Axiata PLC. Picture
"Users could deposit and withdraw money through a network of
merchants. The 'eZ Cash' generates revenue by taking a fee on utility
payments, money transfers and money withdrawals, while these three
segments would be the only points where customer would be charged. "From
all other points, we would be charging from the merchants, while the
customer does not have to bear the charge.
In terms of sending money, withdrawal charges could be borne from the
person sending the money," said Fariq Cader, Senior General Manager, New
Business Development and Mobile Commerce at Dialog Axiata PLC.
This service has been approved by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka,
while Dialog is the first company to receive the license under the
Payment And Settlement Systems Act, No. 28 of 2005 to carry out mobile
money service in Sri Lanka. Since the launch of the product, 'eZ Cash'
service has seen a significant growth in Sri Lanka. 'eZ Cash' allows
Dialog account holders to transfer money to anyone within the borders of
the country in which the service operates. The recipient does not need a
bank account. The 'eZ Cash' enables Dialog customers to have a Cash
Account in their mobile phone into which they could top-up money and
then carry out a range of cash transactions direct from their mobile
phone. Customers could also withdraw money from their 'eZ Cash' account
whenever they wish to.
"Most people are unbanked in Sri Lanka. People have huge problems in
terms of attending to financial transactions. If they need to transfer
money to somebody or make utility payments, the hassles that the people
have to go through are enormous. We have professionals who find it hard
to cope up with their activities or time for utility payments, daily
settlements. In this context, what we are concerned is their time
For example, if a rural customer needs to make a utility or Dialog
bill payment, he or she has to go all the way to the town. With this
concept, we are trying to avoid these hassles that people have to
This had been our initial concept for introducing this service which
had been successful in certain countries such as Kenya, Tanzania,
Afghanistan and many parts of the African region.
Mobile Money Service is not something new to the world. Dialog has
introduced this unique service which is already taking place throughout
the world. Currently, we could see a lot of transactions taking place in
mobile payments and utility bill payments through mobile money accounts
which had extremely attracted customers.
"Currently, some local small businesses are running their entire
businesses through the 'eZ Cash' mobile money service. What we wanted is
to introduce micro finance, micro savings, micro insurance and products
which were not very much prevalent in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans are
traditionally very much in favour of savings, but they have a problem of
how to reap the real benefit of savings," said Cader.
Every 'eZ cash' money transaction is fully protected with a
subscriber defined pin number and secured by 3DES authentication, which
is the international standard for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data
Security. Even though someone loses his or her mobile phone or SIM, the
mobile account would be safe and no one would be able to hack it due to
these special features.
Our systems are audited, verified, checked by the Central Bank of Sri
Lanka and the custodian services, for this efforts would be provided by
Hatton National Bank PLC, while the Trustee would be the Deutsche Bank.
Although the customer need not have to possess a bank account for
registration purposes, all the money had to be physically kept by Dialog
in one account ,where we would deposit the entire sum of money into
that. So, the Central Bank in this case, has been very concerned towards
the customer protection.
They have even gone to the extent of finding out what would happen if
Dialog went bankrupt. Under Liquidation Laws and the Company's Act, all
assets and liabilities of the customers woud be sucked into a pool,
which would provide additional protection to the customers.
Commenting on the mobile money industry, Cader said ,"Sri Lanka is
extremely at its infancy stage and it's more of a virgin market right
now. Dialog is the first to introduce mobile money service in Sri Lanka
and still, no body has reached up to that level. However, the entire
experience has been a success so far.
Currently, 'eZ Cash' service is available to Dialog customers only.
According to Cader, Dialog had already requested other local operators
to be part of this unique initiative, where this service would be
available to all mobile subscribers in the country, irrespective of
their network. "It doesn't make any sense to have two or three or eco
systems, since building this echo system is costly. In future, we would
hopefully be able to transfer money from one Dialog customer to a non
dialog customer and non subscriber would be able to send money to a
Dialog is also bringing in additional merchants, specially web
merchants apart, from big time merchants like Abans, Keells Super and
Laughs Super markets. With this initiative, customers are now able to
pay web bills and Dialog is further signing up with more web merchants
to extend this service.
Dialog has already implemented this service with most sought
e-business sites such as ibuy.lk, mydeal.lk and Anything.lk. With this,
'eZ Cash' would be an ideal payment option for online customers to
purchase products as opposed to other widely used payment options such
as visa and master cards.
Loading money for 'eZ Cash' accounts would be possible at 12,000 plus
retail merchants across the country which includes small groceries,
'game kade,' communication stores, and welfare societies.
"We are now concentrating more on strategic merchants, apart from
retail merchants . We have non merchants like Cargills, Keells Super and
Laugfs Super markets; which predominantly address the needs of
professional post paid crowd. In addition, we have Abans, DSI, Singer,
Hameedia, Pizza Hut, Singer and others on board."