Tech

Review: ULoad, Digital e-load Vending Machine

April 6, 2013

I would always shake my head whenever my brother would complain he doesn’t have enough allowance for his daily expenses but he keeps at least two mobile phones and spend on load for both. I bet you do too. With prepaid credits selling like pancakes in the text capital of the world, an e-loading business is definitely a profitable venture. But what if you don’t have the time to tend to hundreds of customers daily? Time to invest on an automated kiosk: ULOAD.

Your typical sari-sari store scenario involves the load seller with his/her mobile phone (may vary from one to three units depending on the type of retailer sim), who will ask you to either write down your number on paper or punch it directly on the mobile phone. The entire process, in my personal experience, takes up at least 5 minutes (granted I’m the only customer at their store). The disadvantages of this method are:

  • prone to human error (incorrect amount, promo code or mobile number input)
  • time consuming on both parties
  • customer ends up going to another store because
    • the retailer doesn’t have sufficient credits in his load wallet
    • the retailer is having network problems
CIO Druce Tan discussing features and specs of ULOAD Machine to bloggers.
CIO Druce Tan discussing features and specs of ULOAD Machine to bloggers.

What is ULOAD?

ULOAD is your one stop shop, interactive credit loading machine targeting the prepaid market.

Customers can purchase prepaid credits for:

  • all local mobile telcos (Globe, Smart, Sun, Talk N Text, Touch Mobile, Red Mobile)
  • load for broadband sticks (Globeย  Tattoo, SmartBro, Sun Broadband)
  • online game credits (Amped, LevelUpGames, GameClub, Garena, Mobius Games, MOL).

According to Druce, possible future services include:

  • prepaid TV credits
  • prepaid landline credits
  • TV voting cards (like for ABS CBN’s Pinoy Big Brother)
  • Horoscope and Lucky Number

Because everything is automated, the franchisee no longer needs to be physically present every time there’s a transaction except when the machine needs to be emptied of its cash inventory. A dedicated backend online system or web portal makes it easier to check the inventory.

uload-franchisee-chores

ULOAD Machine

Measuring only 150cm x 43cm, it occupies less than one square meter of space and only requires a power source to run. This portable machine can be mounted on a wall like an ATM machine or put on top of a flat surface (stand/table). Power consumption is only 12KwH per month, based on actual usage, amounting to P120 – 200 electricity charge.

Here are some awesome features to take note of:

  • built-in UPSย  that can last for 3-4 hours during emergencies/power outage
  • built-in motion sensor and alarm for anti-theft and vandalism
  • uses GPRS technology via SMART to interconnect all kiosks to ULOAD servers

You can find 1,600+ existing units on transportation hubs, educational and medical institutions, offices/dormitories/call centers, groceries/pharmacies/retail outlets, convenience stores, fast food chains/restaurants, gas stations, side streets and even community centers.

Deployed units at (1) Brgy. Burol Mandaluyong City, (2) Super 8 and (3) 168 Mall.
Deployed units at (1) Brgy. Burol Mandaluyong City, (2) Super 8 and (3) 168 Mall.

Customer Care Team

In case you encounter a problem with the machine or did not receive your prepaid load, somebody will call you for assistance. ULOAD Philippines boasts their helpful in-house outbound call center as their differentiating factor to its competitors. Goodbye irate customers!

A dedicated customer care team monitors end-user transactions from 6AM to 1AM while franchisee concern team monitors technical issues from 8AM to 5PM, Monday to Saturdays. Just call (02) 856-2333 or email customercare@uload.com.ph. Users can also contact the customer care team using the machine. What a way to keep customers and franchisees happy, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

Hands On and Feedback

We were allowed to try the machine so I did a little experiment using an old 20-peso bill and 2012 series coins — denominations that the LRT/MRT vending machine are allergic of.

uload-test-machine-money

What I like most about the machine is the ease of usage. On-screen instructions (available in English and Tagalog) are pretty much straightforward that even those who are not used to touch screens can operate the machine. It also gives out verbal instructions which is cool!

uload-machine-screen1
Step 1 – Select a service.
uload-machine-screen2
Step 2: Enter your mobile number.

When you click OK, the machine automatically determines your mobile number’s network using the prefix code (09xx).

Step 3: Choose the right network / service.
Step 3: Choose the your network / service.

Make sure to choose the appropriate load type, especially if you’re adding credits to a broadband SIM.

uload-machine-screen4
Step 4: Enter your desired amount.

Last step is to feed the machine with my money which it accepted without problems. It accepts anything from 1, 5 and 10 peso coins and 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 peso bills. Take note that there’s a P1 service charge for transactions P50 and below.

Step 5: Verify your details and insert your money.
Step 5: Verify your details and insert your money.

The machine doesn’t actually give out change, so I suggest you give an exact amount. Just in case, your excess money will be stored as credits under your mobile number and will be in the system for 120 days. That means the next time you have to load, you don’t need to put in any money at all (given you have enough credits).

I didn’t get to capture the success message but I was able to get my load in less than 10 seconds! It’s that fast!

Interested in a ULOAD franchise?

Invest P8,000 for a three-year contract and you get an initial load inventory of P10,000, refundable depending on your usage at the end of contract. The minimum monthly sales (P18,000) might raise some brows but the key is choosing the good location — means more income for you and reducing your ROI as well. There’s an expanded franchise package with a 2.5% higher income margin.

uload-roi-study

Own as many units as you like! Download the Customer Information Sheet, fill it up and send it (mindmap.sales@gmail.com) to apply! If you’re approved and you’ve used the CIS form above (do not delete existing information), you get to enjoy extra two months on your franchise contract!

Need more information? Check out Uload’s website, Facebook Page, Twitter account, or call them at (02) 895-9935 / 8903794.

ULOAD is brought to us by MindmapCommtech Inc.

Bloggers with the Uload PH’s CIO and COO
        1. Sorry, I’m not that familiar with that part po. I don’t have a franchise myself. I think instructions are available in your agent page or given during the training. ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. The only downside for me is u can only avail the machine for franchise I mean u have a 3yrs contract then or investment is 20k then if the owner doesn’t like the way u earn everyday I mean If u only earn 300 a day they will cancel our contract then u can get back the 12 k as 20k na in invest mo pag they cancel the contract so sila lang kumita diba bkit di nalang sell the unit to people where tayo any may control Hindi Silva ganun din naman page naubos na load sa kanila din tayo magpapaload well Sana ibenta Nyo nalang un unit like coffee vending machine na nakikita talaga in kita

    1. Nobody wants to not earn money so you need to be strategic in where you place your machine. You have to do your research first. Tsaka they will advice you naman if the area will not be a good location and probably suggest alternatives. Since it’s a franchise, you pay for royalties one way or another. In this case, that happens when the contract is terminated unlike in other types of businesses where you pay for it monthly. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. i sent you an email last wednesday (June 11) with my application form attached.hope to hear from you soon

      1. Interested kami mg join can we seek help from you?im from camarines sur,pasacao

  3. bakit ganun, nagpa laod ako ng Garena shells sa ULoad tapos di naman ma top-up yung laod? help naman po! sayang rin yung 50 ko

    1. I think you should contact ULoad’s customer service po, they will be able to assist you further. I do not work for them nor do I own a unit. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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