Monday, July 22, 2013

Telecom Billing – The Billing of Tomorrow

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Every industry has issues with legacy systems. However, telecoms operators may be unique. The ultra-rapid development of new technology platforms in the industry has left many of them with a particularly sticky problem.


Telecom Billing


Telecom billing is a bit of a shambles for many operators, as they started life as fixed-line providers. Over time they added mobile telephony, and then broadband and then TV and so on. However, their billing systems couldn’t cope with multiple service provision at the time, so each new service came with a brand new billing system.


That billing system creates a unique bill for each product. Some customers now receive 4 or more bills per month from the same service provider. Many of them are generated on different dates, forcing the customer to make multiple trips to pay for their services.


These days, there’s no need for that state of affairs to continue.


Telecom Billing – The Shape of Tomorrow


Convergent software platforms allow telecoms providers to unify their telecom billing approach. Instead of having multiple services, multiple credit ratings and multiple bills for each customer, the data can be brought together from several systems to create a single bill. As importantly, it can be used to create a single balance and a single credit rating.


Pre-paid customers benefit from being able to use one payment method for all their services. They no longer need to buy a card for their phone and then take a trip to an office or bank to pay for their internet services.


Post-paid customers get a single bill and a single credit rating. They pay once a month and any concerns with unusual usage can be addressed at an account level. This allows the telecoms provider to minimize their financial risk on any individual account.


Convergent billing makes real sense. In fact the postage savings alone of sending out multiple bills ought to pay for the investment in the software. However, the real advantage is improving the credit management of the whole system. If you make it easier for customers to pay, they should pay more promptly. If you ensure that they aren’t left facing mega-bills they are more likely to remain with you as a client. Retention is after all a key issue for telecoms providers.


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