Techno Brain introduces SMS Passport Service

By Gregory Gondwe, Blantyre, Malawi

African ICT giant in custom software application development Techno Brain has designed, developed and installed a Bulk SMS System for PIS Passport status query for  the Malawi Government’s Immigration Department.

The multinational company is also involved in two projects at the department of immigration Malawi that include the Passport Issuance System, and Border Control Management System.

Techno Brain Corporate Affairs Manager Lorraine Mopiwa said during the launch of the services which coincided with decentralisation of passport printing that they have dedicated themselves in assisting the immigration department to run its operations immaculately and efficiently.

“The services the department provides to the citizens of Malawi are of national importance and security, and therefore Techno Brain feels the most paramount essence in service delivery is good customer care,” she said.

Mopiwa hailed the department’s cooperation and assistance in the easiness of the implementation and deployment of the systems.

“We have observed the congestion at the immigration offices due to passport status enquiry, this has proved to be expensive and time consuming to the citizens of Malawi. Most of them travel from far distances just to inquire their passport status, and incur costs due to transportation, accommodation and food,” observed Mopiwa.

She described the SMS system as Techno Brain’s response to the need of bringing more modern ways of allowing citizens to query for their passport status without physically travelling to the immigration offices.

“Being a trusted contractor for the department of Immigration and also being the only company in Africa that empowers the lives of people through IT Solutions, Techno Brain took an initiative as a Corporate Social Responsible Company and designed the system for free, provided a server and other equipment required for this system,” she explained.

She announced that the Bulk SMS System for PIS Passport status query is ready for use by the public.

“How the Bulk SMS Passport Query System work is that there will be an SMS system server connected with the PIS server at Department of the Immigration headquarters along with a bulk SMS modem and with an Airtel Sim card with a short code-343 with the bulk SMS facility, applicants will SMS their 13 digit application number through any Airtel mobile to the number,” she explained.

The SMS will be received by the modem connected with the SMS server and will then search for the current status of this applicant in the PIS database and will reply automatically to the applicant accordingly with the current status and only for the cost of K30 per SMS.

“Techno Brain believes by donating the Bulk SMS Passport Query System to the Department of the Immigration, will enhance its service delivery reforms,” said Mopiwa at the function also attended by Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Paul Chibingu, Principal Secretary in the ministry Beston Chisamile and the Chief Immigration Officer Dr. Hudson Mankhwala.

Both Chibingu and Mankhwala commended Techno Brain for the services as they will also be paying subscription fee to Airtel at a cost of US$200 a month for a year.

The minister reiterated that the system will not only reduce the costs incurred by applicants when processing their travelling documents but will also give them full access to the service anytime and anywhere.

“This is in line with Government’s initiative to bring public services closer to the citizens,” said Chibingu.

Techno Brain should be commended for the donation made to the immigration department and for initiating the service,” he added.

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