Raise your hand if this has happened to you: you’re on a call with a friend and the call gets cut. It is then you find out that you’re out of credit. So you then proceed to do what any Sri Lankan would do. You utter a few expletives and then head to the nearest store to top up your smartphones credit. With me so far?
Well, after you find said store, you then proceed to buy a recharge card and top up your phone. Well, that’s where things get annoying. You need to remember the number to dial to top up your phone and then type in a 12-digit number.
Taking all that into consideration, there may be an app that could make the process a whole lot easier.
Meet Recharger. No, it won’t recharge the battery of your phone, but it will help you in topping up the credit on your smartphone.
The company behind Recharger, Thiken, claim that the app is the quickest way to recharge your mobile account when you have a recharge card in your hand.
How does Recharger work?
Recharger can scan and read any recharge card from any network currently available in Sri Lanka. Currently that means Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat, Airtel and Hutch. This essentially means that rather than typing in the pin number to recharge your phone, all you need to do it point the camera to the recharge card. From there, Recharger will automatically detect the PIN number and your mobile carrier as well.
I must admit, I have not used a recharge card in about a year maybe even longer. My topping up process involves me either going to Dialog’s website, annoying my mum or going to the nearby communication that has a recharge machine. I’ve used these methods so far, and they’ve worked out perfectly for me. Nonetheless, I decided to give Recharger a go. The app only needs permission for your camera which is accepted as that’s literally what you need. Focusing on the number takes around 2-3 seconds and you’re greeted with a popup identifying the number and your network carrier.
From there, you have the choice between either topping up your phone or sharing the pin to a friend of yours on the same network. If you choose to top up your phone, then a USSD code is typed into your smartphone’s dialer app and upon calling the number, the top up is complete.
If you want to share the PIN number, you have a variety of options in doing so, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat. I’m not sure how the latter helps, but hey, if it works, it works.
Well, it’s one way of making life easier if you’re on a prepaid account. I personally prefer to use a recharge kiosk that iss available at most communications around Colombo and even on the outskirts of Colombo. They are fast, reliable and require little interaction. Just key in your phone number and the amount you wish to top up and you’re good to go. The next method is Dialog’s top up feature that allows you to recharge your account via a web browser. Upon navigating to Dialog’s website, you can choose your connection type, enter in payment details and upon confirmation, your phone credit gets topped up. It’s a bit on the lengthy side but if you’re home and too lazy to go out and get a reload then this option works.
A little bug that I found was that you can actually enter 12 random digits on a notepad document for example and get the app to scan it and it will actually detect the network and proceed to dialing the USSD code to top up the connection. It technically will not work from there as the number doesn’t exist but nonetheless, it opens the possibility for something like a brute force attack to be carried out to try and identify legit numbers that work, thereby getting illegal credit. It’s a bit of a farfetched theory but it theoretically should work.
Recharger makes sense if you’re in a hurry to get a reload and can’t wait in the queue or if you’re travelling and cannot stop to top up your connection. It also makes sense if you’re reloading multiple cards on multiple networks in the case of a dual SIM phone. This has an advantage over the Recharge Kiosk if you cannot remember your primary or secondary number. Simply open the app, launch the camera, dial the USSD code and you’re good to go.
Overall, Recharger does have a certain thing going for it. It’s ease of use coupled with a intuitive and attractive interface will definitely attract consumers to use it.
Recharger is currently available for Android via the Google Play Store and has been ranked 1st in Trending Apps and 13th in Top Free Apps. It has also surpassed 10,000 downloads since its launch last week.
Clearly the team at Thiken have been giving it their all to make sure that Thiken is a success and thus far it looks to be so. Kudos to you, Thiken and may the odds be ever in your favor for your future endeavors.