Vodafone Idea introduces voice-based contactless recharges at retail stores

Recently, telecom operators like Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio announced that since shops have been allowed to open in safe zones, they would not extend the validity of existing plans of their subscribers. The move was intended to help small retail stores and recharge outlets. Now that the stores are open, there are still concerns about appropriate social distancing measures.

Vodafone Idea has now come up with an industry-first initiative, which allows you to speak out your mobile number to get it recharged by the shopkeeper. This will enable users to have zero contact while getting their phones recharged. Here’s how it works.

Vodafone introduces voice-based contactless offline recharges

Vodafone Idea's new initiative let users and retailers' maintain social distancing by using voice-based mobile number input

Vodafone Idea’s new initiative lets users and retailers maintain social distancing by using voice-based mobile number input

The main intention of the voice-based contactless recharge initiative by Vodafone is intended to completely eliminate physical interaction between the shopkeeper and customer, like handing over the phone to input the phone number, etc. Instead, the customer will be required to speak out their ten-digit mobile number in Vodafone Idea’s Smart Connect retailer app. The number will then be recorded by Google Assistant in the app, after which the retailer can recharge as usual.

Vodafone claims that the Google voice-enabled feature on the retailer app can record the number from a distance of up to ten feet. As of now, the feature will be able to record mobile numbers in both English and Hindi. Vodafone has announced that it will roll out support for more languages in the near future. The feature can also recognise different variations of mobile numbers. As mentioned before, this move from Vodafone comes as a step towards helping these recharge outlets stay open while still maintaining social distancing.

Ambrish Jain, Chief Operating Officer, Vodafone Idea said, “As a customer-oriented telecom operator, it is our constant endeavour to come up with products and services relevant to the times and keep our customers connected at all times. In line with our Digital-first approach, we are digitizing our processes to offer convenient and efficient services to our nearly 300 million customers. The industry-first, Voice-based Contactless Recharge enables recharges without touch and is extremely relevant in these times when maintaining social distancing is the need of the hour to stay safe.” 

Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.