Year: 2007

Pall-Ex wins Technology in Business award

Pall-Ex is celebrating, having won the ‘Technology in Business’ category at the Growing Business Awards, organized annually by the CBI and Real Business magazine.

Sponsored by Dell UK, the award identifies and celebrates companies that have put technology at the heart of their business in the last year – and seen improved performance, including increased sales and profits, as a result. The judges were looking for companies that have been galvanized and transformed by the effective use of information and communications technology.

Throughout its ten year history Pall-Ex has used technology to give itself the edge in a highly competitive market. The company has designed, developed and implemented its own bespoke IT system – Pall-IT – and, in the last year, has been introducing advanced online track and trace facilities to provide the most up-to-date information to customers on the progress of their consignments.

The Awards were presented in front of 700 attendees at a black-tie gala dinner at the London Hilton on Park Lane. The ceremony was compered by William Hague MP and guests included world class entrepreneurs such as Charles Dunstone, John Madejski, Sir Peter Rigby, Sir Anthony Bamford, Lord Graham Kirkham and the entire cast of BBC2’s Dragons’ Den. The judging panel included the Go! airline founder and London Olympics bid winner, Barbara Cassani, as well as Fru Hazlitt (Virgin Radio), Peter Linthwaite (British Venture Capital Association), David Storey (Warwick Business School), Gerard Burke (Cranfield School of Management) and Bob Jones (Equiinet).

Hilary herself was also a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

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WASEL postal service was initiated in Jeddah city

WASAL” postal service was initiated in Jeddah city, after completing the addressing operation and establish the service in several residential area as the campaign aims at establishing 600,000 thousand boxes. A comprehensive survey for all Jeddah city area is being done along with the preparation of the required infrastructure for activating the service.

Dr.Talal Abdulmalik Radin, the Director General of the project stated that the primary stages of the project had been completed along with the comprehensive survey of all part of Jeddah city, installation of WASAL mail boxes, making the final touches and arrangement to activate the WASAL service in some area during the forthcoming stages.

Rayyan Itanbathathah , Manager of subscription administration explained that the subscriber can receive his/her premium , registered mail and post parcels on his/her new box and he able to shift his correspondence from his old mail box to the new one and he can send his own correspondence via the incoming box existing next to the service box. The addressing & the establishment of the postal service project aims at installing more than 250,000 post boxes in Jeddah city since triggering the project. Subscription in the new post service “WASAL” in Jeddah city was made in the university Avenue center through subscription responsible and the key of the new box was delivered in the Headquarters of the Itihad Altakamal Company for the executing company of the addressing and establishing the postal service project.

It is worthy noting that the Saudi post has released the tracking services of the premium mail which shall be available for the customers of the Saudi Post , whether they are citizens or expatriates and they can track the course of their shipments via the corporation’ website on the internet or by utilizing the automated sound answer system . This service shall enable the customers identify place, time and date of procedures done to their shipments from the point of origin to the destination point. This service has been released as an implementation of the strategy of the Saudi post towards becoming a digital corporation.

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Case study: Pension products in South Africa

Interview with Mrs. Totsie Memela Khambule, Managing Director of the South Africa Postbank.

Q: Could you describe the role of South Africa PostBank with regards to channelling domestic financial resources in your country?

A: The role of South Africa PostBank is to provide access to the underserved markets in our country, which are estimated to represent 13 million people. Our institution also inculcates a culture of savings to all South African communities. Moreover, the South Africa Postbank (SAPO) extends access to government departments by supporting government initiatives that provide financial services but do not have their own retail network to reach the communities. We are committed to becoming a provider of choice for government services. To contribute to the social and economic development of our economy is key for us.

Q: Why address pensioners in a relatively young country such as South Africa? Do you plan to extend the Pension FlexiCard project to other customer segments?

A: The South African government currently provides pensions and social grants to 11.4 million people for a total value of ZAR 4.6 billion per month (approx 0.6 billion USD). The majority of these beneficiaries are paid in cash. The government objective is to have within a number of five years 50% of the population banked.

We believe we have a platform and the facilities to serve this market. The other objective is to reduce the cost of banking for the beneficiaries by enabling them to access debit cards which can be used in retail points of sale. The Pension Flexi Card offered by Postbank, currently targeted to the pensioners market, can be extended to other social grant beneficiaries.

Q: What have been the considerations behind the implementation of biometric technology?

A: The main consideration leading to the development of SAPO’s Biometric Solution was to offer a competitive pension/social grant payment solution that was secure, affordable and supportive to the government’s objective of increasing access to finance for the unbanked. At the time, SAPO was losing pension customers to the competitors who already had biometric based payment solutions and the decision to invest was based on a strategic move to regain market share.

The initial project was concluded within 50 days and the cost to implement the system at 118 post office branches was ZAR 11,8 million (approx. 1.6 million USD). Apart from the technological challenges that had to be tackled (such as the use of satellite technology and the use of smart card encryption technology), the biometric solution also had to guarantee customer choice. This is why we opted for an open-system approach that allowed the beneficiary to choose how and when payments are made.

Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

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