Mon, 11 Sep 2000

It's high time to put an ATM in your pocket

A new series of services in information technology (IT) has been introduced to humankind. The latest one in Indonesia is mobile banking from GSM operator Telkomsel.

Starting last month, Telkomsel offers this service to Panin Bank customers who are also kartuHALO users. KartuHALO is Telkomsel's postpaid card.

This can be made possible due to a collaboration between cellular technology, information technology and the banking system. Now, the cellular handset can operate just like an ATM.

Services provided on this mobile banking facility include account statements, fund transfers, details on the last five transactions, monthly billing charge payments (electricity, water, telephones, credit cards and kartuHALO), interest rate information and PIN changing mode.

Telkomsel's Director of Marketing and Sales, Hasnul Suhaimi, said that the company was committed to always introducing innovation-based services for customer satisfaction.

He said mobile banking was only a beginning to anticipating e- commerce.

This new service has wide accessibility due to the infrastructure installed by Telkomsel.

The company aims to operates 400 additional BTS this year, bringing it to a total of 1,500 units nationwide.

Hasnul said that with everything that is possible due to information technology, Telkomsel was ready to offer new services.

With regards to customer care, the company always tries to answer any questions from the customers, he added.

By implementing the so-called intelligent computer guides, operators are able to answer any question asked by customers, he said.

Users can now carry out real-time payments via several ATMs.

Telkomsel also tries to offer top-quality service not only to its postpaid users, but also to its prepaid simPATI card holders.

Telkomsel won the Indonesian Customer Satisfaction Award this year in the GSM prepaid card category. Last year, the company won the same award in the GSM service category.

In what is becoming fierce competition in mobile telecommunications services, each player needs to launch new value-added services. But everything is directed toward customer satisfaction.

Hasnul said that though simPATI users have some limitation in services, they still enjoy convenience in buying vouchers to refill their pulses through ATMs. And now, they can also enjoy auto refill by dialing Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) or through the Internet But the users must be clients of BNI or BNI credit-card holders.

Indonesia has seven cellular providers, operating three systems, including the GSM. Since GSM has proved to be the most popular system, operators must compete to provide various and new services based on the latest development in technology.

After pocketing a communications device with ATM facilities, people may soon be carrying around not a mobile tool but a "magic" one. Any cellular operator ready? (icn)