Central Bank of Jordan

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Orange Jordan is an integrated telecom operator serving more than 4 million customers for fixed, mobile and data services. Those customers need to settle their telecom invoices, purchase air time (top up) and purchase data bundles by exchanging cash with us. Around 90% of all settlement transactions are done through orange Jordan’s shops that are distributed all around Jordan. Customers need to visit one of those shops to make their transactions, which proves to be time and effort consuming, not to forget the cost linked to that. Providing a payment solution to our customers was essential as it serves several objectives: enable customers to view their bills online, enable them to settle their dues without the need to visit one of our shops, improves our image as an advanced telecom operator, being customer oriented, online payment and settlement of dues on our billing systems. Many disabled and elderly customers find it really difficult to visit our shops to settle their dues, it takes them great hardship to drive, or take any mode of transport to visit our shops, not to mention the hot and cold weather conditions that they have to suffer during the summer or winter seasons. Providing an easy way to pay the customer bills while they’re setting at home may help all customers especially the disabled and elderly to settle their bills and purchase air time and data bundles easily.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The efawateerCom initiative was proposed by the Central Bank of Jordan as a response to several projects worldwide such as “Orange Money”, to enable customers to pay their telecom bills and purchase telecom services with ease using their bank accounts online via the internet by simply accessing their bank accounts and pay or purchase telecom services. As Orange Jordan being the leading integrated telecom operator in Jordan, that operates a state of the art network, which provide internet access with huge capacities and speeds, was thrilled to cooperate with the Central Bank of Jordan to provide the needed internet access, simply to enable customers who has active bank accounts to access their account online and settle their dues to Orange Jordan and other utility companies in Jordan. Our strategy was to develop a secured mode to review and pay the customer bill payment including purchasing telecom service with ease utilizing the latest telecom technology via the internet. This strategy required the collaboration of the public sector represented by the CBJ and the private sector represented by the bank and utility companies. The main target audience were the joint customers of the banks and utility companies. Both customers came together to benefit from the initiative proposed by the CBJ.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
This initiative was very advanced in its ability to make customers able to view their bills and check their balances due online without any time delays. It enabled customers to view, settle their invoices and pay for telecom services online while their setting at home directly from their bank accounts. Customers do not have to travel to visit Orange shops and wait in line for some time to do their business. They simply do it by a press of a button. This initiative may help Orange Jordan to cut costs on staff and efforts, by reducing the number of customers who visit those shops. Most importantly serve our customers better and improve our image. This project proved that Public Private Partnership (PPP) can be applied and benefits can emerge from such projects benefitting both sectors. This was the major success approach.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In summary the action plan was very efficient to meet the targets and deadlines set by the central bank of Jordan (CBJ), it included the following elements: • Forming a professional team to manage this project composed of key resources from each concerned department in Orange. • Analyzing the project requirements from CBJ side which took into consideration the requirements of the banks and billers country wide and Orange was a key member of defining the telecom sector requirements. • Analyzing our current systems at Orange and the customizations required to connect to eFawateerCom service and enable our customers to inquire and pay on-line from any electronic channel offered by eFawateerCom. • Implementing the project requirements and the integration specifications of eFawateerCom project with its operator Madfoo3atCom for ePayments company, which is a Jordanian company selected by the CBJ to build and operate eFawateerCom project and facilitate the billers and banks usage of eFawateerCom service. • Testing the new service on the testing environment with eFawateerCom. • Soft launching the service for selected bank/biller employees for few days. • Launching the service to the live environment and enable it to all customers after passing successfully the UAT with the CBJ and its operator (Madfoo3atCom). Marketing the service to the customers through various channels, i.e. SMS, on-line…

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
This initiative was designed and implemented by a collaboration of several public and private institutions such as: The Central Bank of Jordan: From the part of the CBJ, the Oversight of Payment and Settlement Systems / Payment & Domestic Banking Operations Department was the main contributor to the project, in addition to the IT and finance departments as well . Several banks: Egyptian Arab Land Bank, BANK AL ETIHAD, Bank Of Jordan, Cairo Amman Bank, Arab Banking Corporation, InvestBank, Societe Generale De Banque-Jordanie, the Jordan Islamic Bank, the Islamic International Arab Bank and others. Utility companies: From Orange Jordan’s part, the Orange Money unit was the main contributor to the project, in addition to the It department as well. Other telecom companies contributed as well, Including Irbid electricity company and The Water Authority. More utility companies are expected to be included such as the Water Company and the Electricity Company.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
As far as Orange Jordan is concerned, many working hours were exerted from our IT engineers and technicians to set up the connections with our billing system and providing the needed capacity in our servers, while maintaining the integrity of our systems by providing the necessary safety fire walls. Also, our finance team were involved with setting up the processes. The project’s costs related to Orange Jordan was funded from our own internal resources. It is worth mentioning that since inception in May 2014, the number of transactions that occurred using eFawateerCom was more than 5,000 transactions valued at more than JD 119,000 for all of our services.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Project Outputs: 1- Public Private Partnership (PPP): This project provided the perfect atmosphere and grounds for properly applying the well longed for public private partnership. This project proved the successful partnership. Both resources of the public and private were utilized for the better future of the society both serve. 2- Automation of bill and service acquiring: This project enabled customers to automate their bill settlement as well as acquiring services online, and to pay for such services from their bank accounts directly. 3- Saving time, efforts and money: By paying online and at home, customers do not have to travel or drive to our shops to do their business. 4- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): From a CSR perspective, this project enabled us to Serve an important and needy sector of our customers, the disabled and elderly. Improve and enhance image: eFawateerCom improved our image to our customer proving that we care about their needs to pay their bill with ease.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
We used our internal monitoring systems and tools to monitor the progress and evaluate the activities; some of which included project planning and monitoring tools and we used project implementation and product life cycle methodology according to the best practices which we have in Orange as a default in all of our projects and products.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main obstacle was to allocate the scares resources needed for the project. This required the dedication of engineers, technicians and finance. The time and effort required to the design and implementation was huge, not to mention the hardware needed. Also, the education of the customers to accept and trust such ways of payment and settlement. In Jordan, although it is time and efforts consuming, the culture is stand in line to pay or purchase what a person needs. It takes several tries and advertisements to convince customers to use this way of payments. Finally, bringing the way of thinking of both public and private which proved that both are correct and can work together to achieve wonders.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The benefits generated are similar to point 7 above: 1- The public and private sectors worked closely together towards the same objectives. 2- Enhanced the image of Orange Jordan as being a customer oriented company. Looking after the satisfaction of our customers. The customer should be the focal point. 3- CSR to the society we all live in. We all share this burden. 4- Utilizing technology to automate bill payment and settlement of dues. Uncover one’s potential to work in a complex and pressured situation.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative of eFawateerCom by the central bank of Jordan is being sustained in all aspects (in terms of financial, social and economic, cultural, environmental, institutional and regulatory sustainability); it is now regulated by the CBJ for all banks, payment service providers, billers and merchants in Jordan, and its offering an efficient quality service to all parties: customers, banks, billers, government… The government of Jordan (represented by its prime minister) started to connect to eFawateerCom to offer its citizens an easy way to pay their government dues on-line real-time; three major government entities are now connected (Customs dept., Amman Municipality and Social Security), also a memo from the prime minister of Jordan was issued to all government entities to connect to eFawateerCom initiative which became now a national initiative modernizing the way Jordanians carry out payments, bringing transactions online. It reduces costs and time spent tracking and paying bills for banks, billers, and end users. With an easy-to-use software platform and multiple payment channels available across the country, it increases the accuracy of payment tracking and the percentage of on-time payments. Today eFawateerCom has 21 banks live and more than 15 major billers, including all telecom companies and government entities. End users can make payments to these billers at any of Jordan’s banks, as all as via branch and online banking and soon via ATM machines, POS machines, Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR), and mobile banking

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
1- Public Private Partnership is not a myth. It is a reality that may occur with will and determination of both sectors. 2- Technology can be used to better serve the society with minimum cost. 3- Collaboration may surface and unearth potential that was covered in the past. 4- Bridging the technology gap between developed and developing countries by working with such projects. 5- Corporate Social Responsibility is important for utility companies who serve a wide spectrum of customers.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Central Bank of Jordan
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Maha Bahou
Title:   Executive Manager/ Payment Systems & Domestic Bank  
Telephone/ Fax:   +962 4630301
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   maha.bahou@cbj.gov.jo  
Address:   PO box 37
Postal Code:   Amman 11118
City:   Amman
State/Province:   Amman

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