Each year, the mBillionth Awards recognises and honours outstanding mobile content and apps from around South Asia. A jury put together by the Digital Empowerment Foundation screens nominees online followed by three days of heated face-to-face debates. Here are the 2014 jury picks for winners in the categories of mobile business, travel and entertainment.
Swosti / Bangladesh
Access to funds, particularly for emergency cash requirement, is always a very important day-to-day aspect of lower income or no fixed income poor communities. Swosti Limited has launched an automated, instant credit and savings management facility for the registered members of Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) in Bangladesh. The system also provides auto-alerts to the members to ensure timely-repayment of the loan on a monthly basis. Better visibility and tracking based on past borrower records reduces the risks in cash management. The service can also be activated via SMS.
MobiKwik Consumer Wallet / India
Handling day-to-day transaction related services is a challenge for today’s busy citizen. The MobiKwik app tries to facilitate a mobile wallet service. Within a span of one year, the app has gathered more than five million users in India. The facility can be used to pay for recurring recharge, bill payment transactions, purchases on e-commerce sites and apps. Payment can be done via credit cards, debit cards, net banking, cash pay and through a MobiKwik ewallet. Merchant and payment support is available online and via phone.
ToffeeTV / Pakistan
Toffee TV is a digital initiative from Karachi, Pakistan, developing and producing original animated content for young children in Urdu and English. Toffee TV operates on both website as well as mobile app models. Dastaangoi or storytelling through animated content is popular among Urdu speakers in Pakistan and overseas. Other content is also offered in Punjabi, Memoni and Arabic. The company reports 5,000 installations so far.
Saavn Music / India
Saavn takes listeners to Bollywood and beyond. The app has a music library spanning nearly a century of music from India, with titles licensed from over 900 content providers. The app was launched in December 2010. The company has a phonetic search feature to suggest related tracks based on the user’s choice. As of June 2014, the app reports approximately 10 million installations on Google Play store, and the ‘biggest jukebox for Indian songs’ is also available for iPhone.
RailYatri.in / India
There are over 12 million passengers who travel via Indian railways on a daily basis. Railyatri.in provides comprehensive information on train status, reservation status, food, timetables, platform information, service disruption, cancellation notices and new train announcements, to passengers via mobile apps, web and SMS. The app was launched in 2013, and now provides services like taxi booking, ordering food and hotel reservations.
mGaadi / India
mGaadi is an app which makes the process of local commute less cumbersome for people in Bengaluru. It was launched in December 2013. An average Bengaluru autorickshaw driver reportedly drives 120 kilometers daily and spends at least 25 % of his time waiting for customers or driving around looking for customers. mGaadi allowes mobile users to book autos via mobile for a Rs. 10 pickup fee. The application has the facility of GPS metering which allows the commuter to validate the auto rickshaw’s meter fare and track the trip. As of July 2014, the app has around 10,000 downloads.
TaxiPixi / India
Taxi Pixi is an app which serves as an aggregator for all kinds of commercial taxis in Indian and Malaysian cities. The app was launched in April 2014 to minimise the effort of making calls to customer care centres of various taxi services, which is time consuming and at times not even successful. Pickup requests are sent directly to drivers, in cities in India (such as New Delhi, Bnagalore, Mumbai, Japiur, Patna) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Penang).