World’s First Multilingual Bot Is Here (Video)
Recharge Bot supports intelligent balance reminders for prepaid phones. We are proud to say that it’s first of its kind in the industry! Recharge Bot sends low talktime & data reminders for all the top carriers: Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, DoCoMo, Reliance & Aircel. The total subscribers across these carriers enable Payjo to reach 170 million smartphone users in India.
Not all users are familiar with English. With the ever increasing adoption of smartphones in Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities, we set out to support some of the widely spoken languages in India: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu & Kannada.
Language barriers are among the top basic problems that plague internet penetration today. Facebook, Google and WhatsApp are working to add more local languages to their platforms. Department of Telecom (DoT) is making it mandatory for mobile phones to support Hindi and at least one regional language. Forbes published an article in 2014 where it's estimated that only 30% of Indians speak English. 770-900 million Indians today cannot use basic internet services because most apps support a single language.
With mobile apps, users need to discover, download and learn how to use them before they can add any value. This process happens over congested internet connections. Add to that the language barriers and you can see why, to truly witness digital inclusion, we need something better than just apps.
Bots built on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp are a better solution for India. Recharge Bot on Facebook Messenger, enables users to complete basic tasks in the most natural of ways. It is like chatting with a friend to get things done. If you are already using the messaging apps the whole problem of downloading and learning a new app is gone! Messaging apps built for developing countries enable high quality compression, which make the services offered by Recharge Bot more accessible to users even on 2G connections.
Payjo’s local language support in Recharge Bot, combined with UPI (Unified Payment Interface) brings digital inclusion on a never-seenbefore scale to India.
Adding to the launch Srinivas Njay, Founder of Payjo said “Online payments are big part of the Digital India Initiative. Hence the UPI was launched. But it solves just half of the problem. Before payment, users face two significant problems: installing and learning a new service and the language barrier. With today’s launch of multi-language support over Payjo’s Recharge Bot, we hope to solve the rest of the problem, thereby pushing the realization of India’s digital inclusion vision to a whole new level of possibility!”
To start the bot, users have to open up (the already familiar) Facebook Messenger and look up “Recharge Bot”. They can also launch the bot by clicking on this link here: https://m.me/rechargebot
At first, Recharge Bot will prompt users to pick a language (just like at ATM machines). One can pick from among Hindi, Tamil, Telugu & Kannada as shown below or just continue in English. Alternatively, one can also type “Hindi” for example & the Bot will start replying in Hindi.
Recharging is the first of many amazing things Payjo’s Recharge Bot is aiming at. “We’ve got the foundations ready now: bots, multi language support and a product category that is relevant to 95% of the India’s population Prepaid Mobile Recharges. With India’s First Messenger Bot, we have enough insights to venture into other verticals. We believe that the idea of empowering people to do more over messaging apps that they are already quite familiar with is exciting.” added Srinivas Njay.
The founders, Srinivas & Bruce met two years back to work on few hacks for a startup. Payjo started a year after that. Our past products include one of the first Internet subscription billing companies with top clients including Salesforce.com, Morningstar.com, and NTT Europe and that has processed over US$2 billion in transactions. We have also successfully raised funds from top venture capital firms across the world.
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