UBL’s branchless banking solution, Omni, has won GSMA Global Mobile award for 2012 for the category ”Best Use of Mobile in Emergency or Humanitarian Situations” beating three other services – contesting in the same category.

Other contestants included:

  • Flowminder.org for Rapid Population Movement Analysis using Cellphone Data for Improving Efficiency of Humanitarian Relief
  • MoreMagic and Voilà for T-Cash following the Haitian earthquake
  • NTT DOCOMO for  Recovery from Great East Japan Earthquake and New Disaster Preparedness Measures
  • Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) for the Strengthening Disaster Preparedness of Southern Leyte through SMS technology

UBL Omni won the award for for a transparent and efficient Cash Disbursement service after the 2009 IDPs Crisis and the 2010 Flood Crisis.

Omni happens to be one of the largest Branchless Banking cash disbursement initiatives to date and has proved to be a quick and transparent mechanism for the way cash disbursements are made by the Government of Pakistan and non-profit organizations.

UBL Omni provided the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), a poverty alleviation initiative by the Government of Pakistan, and the World Food Programme (WFP) with a transparent and convenient cash disbursement mechanism for victims of the 2009 ‘War Against Terror’ IDPs Crisis and the 2010 Flood Crisis. Beneficiaries were issued unique cards and PINs which were used to withdraw funds from conveniently located UBL Omni retail shops, where agents logged into their mobile based applications to execute quick cash disbursements.

Judges commented over Omni saying:

“There is growing interest in how to direct payment of aid to the needy and this scheme utilizing mobile phones is a valuable initiative.”

The GSM Association Awards are considered as the most prestigious contest and mostly called as Oscar for the mobile phone and telecommunication industry.

List of winners for GMSA Awards 2012 for 23 different categories is available here.

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