At the GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards (held between February 27 and March 2, 2017) in Spain, Pakistan bagged two prestigious awards – the ‘Best Mobile Product for Women in Emerging Markets’ won by Mobilink for its product ‘JazzCash Mobile Account’; and the Government Leadership Award, won by the Government of Pakistan.
The GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards are open to mobile companies from around the world, and aim to reward and acknowledge the most innovative mobile products, apps, devices, services and initiatives. The presentation of the awards takes place during the Mobile World Congress, the world’s leading mobile industry event, held every year in Barcelona, Spain.
Amber Arshad speaks with Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Chief Digital & Financial Services Officer, Jazz, to find out more about the service and winning the coveted award.
AMBER ARSHAD: How many entries did Mobilink send for the GSMA GLOMO Awards?
ANIQA AFZAL SANDHU: The nominations opened in September 2016, and operators from around the world sent in their submissions online in various categories. Jazz sent in two entries; one was JazzCash Mobile Account in the ‘Social and Economic Development’ category (which we won), and the other was ‘JazzCash Passport Fee Payment Service’ in the ‘Best Mobile Services’ category. Aamir Ibrahim (CEO & President, Jazz), Ali Naseer (Chief Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Officer) and I received the award.
AA: Is this the first time that Jazz won a GSMA award?
AAS: No; we won a GSMA award once before in 2013 in the ‘Connected Life Awards’ category for Mobilink Foundation – which was our SMS-based literacy program; it was selected from over 600 entries. The program aimed to educate and provide new learning opportunities in the rural areas of Pakistan.
AA: What role can Jazz Mobile Account play in empowering women and improving the overall economy of the country?
AAS: Women in rural, and in some instances even urban, areas don’t have the option to use financial services due to many socioeconomic constraints. JazzCash Mobile Account service converts their mobile SIM into a bank account in which they can deposit and withdraw money from over 70,000 agents all over the country. They don’t need to fill out lengthy bank documents or travel long distances to banks in order to do so. This service is available even in the most remote locations in Pakistan, and it works on all types of mobile phones, not just smartphones. By using JazzCash Mobile Accounts, users can save money, receive money with ease from their children or husbands, and essentially manage their money needs in various ways.
AA: How will winning this award affect the brand image of Jazz?
AAS: Winning this award will reinforce customer trust as this award is the most prestigious one on a global scale. [We hope that] it will also open more avenues for working with the Government, and other entities on various payment-related initiatives.