Smart Launches Load Connect
Tie-up With IBM Produces First Bills Recycling Machine In Asia
[JULY 23, 2007/Manila] - Airtime reloading just got easier for Smart Load retailers and dealers whose volume requirements for the electronic prepaid reloading business dictate that they top up their load wallets at the nearest Smart wireless center.
They will no longer have to line up at the cashier. Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART), in partnership with IBM Philippines, recently launched Load Connect, an automated service that enables real-time reloading of airtime and Smart Money.
“Load Connect is our latest initiative under Smart Connect, a program that gives subscribers more ways to access customer care services for faster, more convenient and more cost-efficient service on selected inquiries and after-sales requests,” said Claro Carmelo P. Ramirez, PLDT Group Consumer Affairs Head.
"Innovation must somehow redound to the benefit of the end-user and we are glad to partner with Smart to enable their subscribers with the use of available technology," said James G. Velasquez, General Manager of IBM Philippines. "We are dedicated to every client's success."
Load Connect is the first service in Asia that allows mobile users to load airtime and money via a machine that accepts and recycles multiple bills. Load Connect is expected to shorten the time spent by subscribers to buy airtime and reload their Smart Money accounts at the wireless center.
“The investment that we’re making with Load Connect and other Smart Connect initiatives shows how serious we are about enhancing the subscriber experience at our wireless centers,” said Joy Sanchez, Smart Customer Care Head.
The number of transactions on airtime reloading ranges from 220,000 to 670,000 a month, depending on the wireless center, she said. The bulk of transactions is made by Smart Load retailers and agents, which number about 800,000 nationwide, she added.
“Load Connect is a win-win solution. We empower the subscriber to make the transaction himself and speed up the process. At the same time, we unload the cashier to deal with other customer payments,” she said.
Subscribers can use Load Connect to purchase airtime in P30, P60, P300, P500 and P1,000 denominations as well as reload their Smart Money accounts.
Load Connect is initially available in 15 Smart wireless centers nationwide: Smart Tower along Ayala Avenue, Makati City; SM Manila; Robinson’s Place Ermita; SM North EDSA; SM Fairview; SM Bicutan; SM Southmall in Las Piñas; Araneta Square Caloocan; Sta. Lucia East in Cainta, Rizal; Festival Mall, SM Dasmariñas, Nepo Mall Dagupan; Elizabeth Mall in Cebu City and Limketkai Mall in Cagayan de Oro City.
The self-service reloading machine is one of several initiatives under Smart Connect, which include SIM Connect, Web Connect, SagotAgad and Zone Connect.
SIM Connect allows Smart Buddy and Talk ‘N Text subscribers to access Customer Care services using their cell phones via a menu embedded in a 64k memory SIM and up. Existing subscribers can also avail of the SIM menu by simply texting GET MENU to 9888.
Web Connect is a fully automated channel, which provides assistance on basic pre-paid transactions. Smart Buddy subscribers can log in to www.smart.com.ph/buddy/connect while Talk ‘N Text subscribers can access www.smart.com.ph/talkntext/connect to sign up for free and get unlimited access to Web Connect services.
Postpaid subscribers can also enjoy Web Connect services with Smart Bills Online. This service allows Smart Gold, Addict Mobile, and individual Smart Bro subscribers to view the last 3 months of their printable billing statement online. To avail of this service, subscribers need to sign up for free registration through Smart’s website www.smart.com.ph.
SagotAgad is a FREE inquiry service offered by SMART where subscribers can access information about the latest products, services and promos of Smart. SagotAgad can be accessed through a.) Texting SAGOTAGAD to 888 or b) Through the Customer Care portal at wap.smart.com.ph. Customer inquiries are classified according to nine (9) categories, namely: Phone Settings, Call, Text and Loading Services, Promos, Download Tips, Troubleshooting, Phonebook/Inbox Inquiries, International Call/Roaming, What’s New and Payment Channels.
Smart subscribers can also use Zone Connect, a unique line of self-service and automated kiosks installed in selected Smart Wireless Centers nationwide. Zone Connect covers Download Connect, Celfone Connect, Info Connect, Service Connect and Payment Connect. These kiosks allow subscribers to browse the latest cell phone models, download cell phone content like ringtones and logos, pay their bills, update their accounts and access information on Smart promos, products, and services.