More and more businesses around the globe are focusing on the social networking generation and launching initiatives dedicated to that segment – and the convergence with payments is accelerating.
The latest such case is Indian mobile service provider Tata Docomo, which is rolling out Twittcom, an alternative service that permits its GSM prepaid customers to register their phone number and top up their accounts through the social network Twitter.
To register their account, customers have to post a tweet to @tatadocomo typing their mobile number preceded by the hashtag #reg (#reg 000000000).
Tata then sends a verification pin code via SMS that should be tweeted again at the handle @tatadocomo after the hashtag #code (#code 0000000000). The @tatadocomo handle will post back this tweet confirming the registration.
To activate a value-added service via Twitter, the subscriber needs to again type the @tatadocomo handle and the following #act# service value. The confirmation of the successful top up will also come in the form of a tweet.
Although these steps mean that customers’ personal data will be posted in the public environment of a social network, such as their mobile number, Tata Docomo is optimistic about the initiative.
Ritesh Ghosal, head of brand marketing at Tata Teleservices said:
“With the increasing consumption of internet and the rise of social media, it makes ample sense to be present on the medium where people are spending time at present or they are likely to spend time in the future. Our community on Facebook is amongst the strongest in the world and Twitter too will reach the same levels quite soon.”