Reliance Jio has introduced a new system to enable its subscribers to recharge the account of any customer on its network through a mobile app and also earn around 4 per cent commission.
The development comes at a time when many people are unable to recharge their phones due to the lockdown. Telecom regulator Trai has been pushing service providers to extend the validity of all prepaid connections during the period.
Reliance Jio has launched the JioPOS Lite app on Google Play store, from where a customer can download it and start recharging the phone of any subscriber on its network.
“There is a joining fee of Rs 1,000 but the company has waived it off as an introductory offer. Jio customers downloading this app will have to load a minimum of Rs 1,000 for the first time and thereafter they can load recharge for sale for a minimum value of Rs 200,” a source told PTI.
The app has recorded over 5 lakh downloads till date.
The source said this will give Jio customers a comfortable option to get their phones recharged even if shops are not opened during the lockdown period.
The government has extended the lockdown period till May 3 to check the spread of the coronavirus.
Private telecom operators had earlier extended the validity of prepaid accounts till April 17 to support people at the bottom of the pyramid stay connected during the lockdown.
Vodafone Idea had announced extension of validity on prepaid plans availed by low-income customers using feature phones till April 17 and Rs 10 talktime credit.
Bharti Airtel too had offered extension in the validity period of over 8 crore pre-paid connections until April 17 as well as credited Rs 10 talktime in these accounts.
Reliance Jio had also offered its JioPhone users 100 minutes of free talktime and 100 free SMSes till April 17, while their incoming calls would continue even after the validity of their pre-paid vouchers.
State-owned telecom operators BSNL and MTNL will extend the validity period of their prepaid mobile services till April 20 and offer Rs 10 additional talktime even after zero balance.
Telecom body COAI pegged the value of benefits announced by telcos for low-income users at over Rs 600 crore and said the government should support further extension of benefits through universal service obligation fund where more than Rs 51,500 crore has been lying unused.