An idiot’s guide to Dialog eZ Cash

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  1. Take out your Dialog phone.
  2. Dial #111#
  3. Choose from English, Sinhala or Tamil

Congratulations! You’ve subscribed to Dialog’s eZ Cash service. Now to understand what you’ve just gotten yourself into, read the rest of this guide. The Readme team headed over to Dialog HQ for an interview to get the scope on Dialog’s much-mentioned-but-still-vague eZ Cash service. Here’s what we found out – in short.

Imagine a virtual wallet. Now imagine that this wallet is linked to your phone number. It’s the same thing as a credit or debit card, except in this case, your “card” is your phone, your card number is your phone number, and you don’t need to swipe your card to pay – you can do all that through the phone itself.

That’s eZ Cash in a nutshell: a virtual wallet hooked up to your phone number. When you first dial #111# to register, your name, NIC and so on are pulled from Dialog’s databases to instantly create a virtual wallet account. We were told by Dialog that it’s a proper, PCI DSS certified, Central-Bank-authorized system with multiple backup servers and the whole nine yards, so rest assured: your money’s safe.

Registering gives you a virtual wallet that can hold up to Rs. 10,000. You can top up, withdraw cash, use this to pay Dialog and utility bills – think CEB, LECO and water bills – and, if you happen to run into any of the 14,000+ Dialog eZCash authorized merchants in Sri Lanka, you can pay for purchases FROM YOUR PHONE. Now that’s cool. Paying is as easy as tapping out a few USSD menus: the only catch is that both sender and receiver have to be subscribed.

Once transaction is complete, both parties involved get notification SMSs instantly. You can also transfer money to anyone else who has signed up for eZ Cash. Remember when you wanted to collect money for movie tickets before your friend’s got to the theatre? Or got caught up in a restaurant paying the whole bill because your colleagues didn’t have change? Well, it got even handier: 3wheel Lanka supports eZ Cash, which means 800+ three-wheeler drivers can receive payment through this service. Quite handy on those moments when, at around 1:00 AM, you realize you’ve spent all your money and have no way of stumbling back home.

Now let’s get into security details. You have a PIN. Just like for your average debit card. Unlike your debit card, Dialog does not hand you a PIN: you have to make one up. Apparently all responsibility for this PIN lies with the user. If you choose to put an easily guessable standby like 0000 or the age-old 1234, that’s your problem: beware that one wild friend who will try to transfer a couple thousand rupees to his account. Other than that, it’s just as safe, marginally easier, and according to the data, substantially cheaper to use than a credit card. Overall, it seems very effective for microtransactions – small stuff like Rs. 50/= to Rs. 2000/= trades which you normally wouldn’t go to the bank for. It’s all virtual and instantaneous, so the time spent behind the counter is down to a minimum.

Dialog’s also got system in place so you can donate to certain charities – like HelpAge. Apparently they’ve invited other networks to join in on the eZ Cash platform – which is something we smartphone-hugging shoppers would like very much. A Sri Lankan version of Paypal, operating directly off your phone? Now that’s a thought!

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9 COMMENTS

  1. few things you guys didn’t mention.

    each 5000 withdrawal, dialog will charge you Rs.100
    say you have Rs.20,000 on your account, then to withdraw that, you have to pay Rs.400 (Rs.100 per 5000)
    also keep mind, person who send you money has to pay to a free for this transaction as well.

    also for your own account, if you want to get a statement, agin you have to pay Dialog Rs.100 (the mini statement you get with #111# is hope less)

    also at the point of some one sending you money for a Cargils, say your account has Rs.10,000 the sender do not get an error. and he can make the payment. but you will NOT receive that money. not even an SMS, but sender thinks the payment was successes full unless the sender send you all the info, with transaction ID etc still dialog take 2-3 weeks to resolve it.

    since this involved dialog making a huge profit and charge 2 times for one transaction. even then if you keep your money with eZ Cash account, your not getting an interest, your not even getting a statement.

    for the 5 times i had to talk to dialog about issues with eZ Cash payments. i always end up getting a response from the call center people “our system is updating, can you call back again.”

    support is really poor for the premium price they charge.

  2. Thank you for pointing out these Kalinga! We should probably revisit our article with more information or feature an idiot's guide part two 🙂

  3. Thank you loadz for a proper introduction!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Not even the dialog site has a proper answer to all the questions! your answer was simple and nice! cheers!

  4. Would it be possible to top up the ez cash account at a dialog service centre using a credit card and then withdraw the money from the ez cash account at the same time?

  5. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you actually understand what you’re talking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly additionally seek advice from my site =).
    We could have a link trade contract between us

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