Monday, March 2, 2015

SafeZone lets you visit partner sites with zero data charges

Voyager Innovations Inc, the digital unit of the PLDT Group, has just launched an innovative way for brands and businesses to reach more of their customers online while sparing these customers the pain of data charges.



The concept is B2B2C (or Business to Business to Commerce). The merchants and PLDT came together (B2B) to create partner sites accessible via a portal called safezone.ph. In turn, these merchants have access to their mobile customers (B2C) who are able to surf these partner sites from within the SafeZone portal WITHOUT INCURRING DATA CHARGES.


In addition, Smart subscribers can activate Load Protect within the SafeZone portal. This is how Load Protect is described on the site: "Load Protect is a feature that disables the automatic deduction of P5 for every 15 minutes of internet use. So if you accidentally open mobile sites and apps that are not part of SafeZone’s free services, you can relax because you won’t be charged a thing!" This solves my past issue with all those free-use-of-apps promos that had hidden data charges from accidentally visiting an app or site outside of the promo, or getting push notifications by accident.



How is Load Protect activated?


What do you see inside SafeZone?

Once inside the portal, with Load Protect activated, you can safely browse all the partner sites (more will be coming in the future as they are targetting about 100 partner sites by end of 2015). At the moment, here is a rundown of partners they have already sealed agreements with:

FINANCE

BPI - Access to the BPI Express Mobile app
MePay Swipe - A product of Smart e-Money which acts as a wireless payment service that allows your mobile phone, tablet or mobile card reader to securely process all types of credit cards, debit cards or ATM payments wherever you go.

SHOPPING/E-COMMERCE

Takatack - An online marketplace that brings together different e-commerce sites like Zalora, Lazada, Pormada, Cash Cash Pinoy, etc.
Zalora - Access to their website where you can choose from over 700 brands and over 35,000 products including Nike, Mango, CLN, Plains & Prints, and more.

TRAVEL

Agoda - A network including more than 500,000 hotels and other accommodations worldwide so you can secure the lowest discount accommodation prices.
Skyscanner - A leading global travel search company to help you search for flights, hotels and car hire.

NEWS

Interaksyon - Access to its portal
Inquirer - Access to its Inquirer Mobile app
PhilStar.com - Access to its portal
Rappler

ENTERTAINMENT

Eat Bulaga Mobile - Access to its mobile app that gives you official links to its social media accounts, exclusive videos and the official Pinoy Henyo game
Spinnr - Allows you to listen to playlists from your Spinnr account
GameX - Access to the portal that enables games to pay for gaming ePins using their Smart prepaid load or postpaid bill.

LISTINGS

Carmudi - Access to the app where you can find listings of secondhand cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles from trusted sellers.
Lamudi - Access to the app that helps you find your dream home from a wide selection of agency and private listings.
Food Panda - Online menus from a wide selection of delivery restaurants around you.
Tripda - A global carpooling social network that connects car owners with spare seating capacity with passengers heading the same way.

SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION

You can enroll your social media accounts in SafeZone so that you get a light version of your timeline feeds. Right now, you can register your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. 



I did a test tweet from my mobile phone after registering my account on SafeZone. This is how the web version looks:

How my tweet looks on SafeZone site

How tweet looks on Twitter

At the moment, this works for Smart subscribers. They will soon roll this out to Sun subscribers. You will also need a minimum balance on your mobile phone of PhP 1.00 to be able to use SafeZone.

I think we will see more and more moves to bring surfing on commercial sites or sites with good business models into the free zone. Telcos and merchants will find that it makes good business sense to open up this space to more online consumers in the hope that the returns (from business activities) will more than offset the cost to provide the service for free.

To register for a SafeZone account, go to www.safezone.ph




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