Operations Management Analysis of a Payment Service Provider in Albania
Prepared in Jan 2021 by students of Epoka University
The Lockdown Economy is the United Nations registered initiative by the Think Tank AlterContacts to help small businesses overcome the challenges of the pandemic. This interview and its analysis were done in collaboration with Epoka University.
Easy Pay is a payment service provider company operating in the territory of Albania. With more than 460 agents around Albania and forty employees in the head office, they did well during the lockdown. But still on the other hand they faced several challenges. Nobody was expecting that the COVID-19 situation would cause such issues to the business. The agents of the company did not operate in their Easy Pay shops thus the online payments took place.
Almost every customer of Easy Pay used the mobile app to pay for their internet, mobile, events, etc. During the lockdown for each transaction paid from the application, the company charged 0-commission. This encouraged the customers to use the app for their payments more and more every day. Although there were still some people that did not fully trust these online services.
Another challenge was the employees part. In March/2020 the company decided to create a back-up plan and this part was the key area affected by the Covid-19 situation. During the lock-down the employees worked more than their usual hours, from 8 hours per day during the lock-down they worked almost 12 hours/day. They worked remotely from their homes, this way they offered the agents and the online customers full support each day. Since this was an innovative platform in Albania, the Easy Pay staff faced some difficulties with the online customers. Not all of the customers were used to usethis app, but the employees of client support made it easier for them to understand.
One of the most innovative products launched during the lockdown on the market was the real-time transfers by mobile, using the Easy Pay application- a service referred to, as Easy-Transfer where every Easy Pay electronic money customer can transfer money to another customer. This money transfer was used mostly during the lockdown to transfer money between friends and family and also to your business partners everywhere in Albania without any fees. With no queues, clients took care of their transactions even if they didn’t find the bank near them. Their objective was to stay as near as possible to the customers every moment, trying to make each financial transaction easy for them.