It is no secret that telecom operations are changing fast. The rise in competition has brought with itself new requirements that need to be fulfilled by telcos. Regardless of the scale of an operator, the requirements are the same for all. Therefore, everyone connected with the industry needs to pull up their socks and take the emerging challenges head on.
This means, whether you are an MNO or MVNO, you need to employ the latest technology and tactics to beat the competition. And, in the current state of the telecom market, there is nothing more important than convergent billing.
Implementing Convergent Billing
Convergent billing can be implemented by using a centralized platform for online charging like an Online Charging System (OCS). An OCS that charges usage based on events and sessions can account for all services and serves as a single platform for all transactions. This means that you can bill all services like prepaid, postpaid, fixed line, broadband, OTT etc. on a single platform.
Moreover, a quality OCS system charges transactions in true real-time and prevents revenue leakage. It also ensures customers do not exceed the quota of services allotted to them and authorizes resources on a per transaction basis.
Importance of Convergence in Billing
Convergence in billing is extremely important if you want to evoke customer trust. It provides a great way to consolidate all billing tasks and leads to more transparency in billing. You have a complete view of the customer at all times, which later helps you in bundling and discounting services. You are also able to cross-sell intelligently and promote your products with ease.
On the other side, customers are also benefited as they get all the charges for the various services that they use sent to them in a single itemized invoice. As convergent billing does not hide anything from the customers as far as their usage of services is concerned, it helps in bolstering customer trust.
Benefits of Implementing Convergent Billing
There are many benefits of implementing convergent billing. Below are some of the most important benefits:
Easy to incorporate new services
The biggest advantage of moving to a convergent billing platform is that you are able to incorporate new services a lot more easily than before. Whether it is OTT (Over the Top), IoT (Internet of Things) or something even newer, convergent billing implemented through an OCS works way better than the legacy IN or offline charging systems. A cutting-edge system that offers convergent billing is also more flexible than the aforementioned legacy systems.
Decrease in complexity while offering intricate plans
In the past, customers used to have straight forward subscriptions with almost no flexibility. However, the single view offered by convergent billing has made communication of compound services easier by decreasing the complexity. Now, it is possible to offer complicated services without much problem. E.g. If a subscriber has used up his data pack 4 days before the end of the bill cycle, and wants a top up of 40 GB, it would not be logical or reasonable to provide him a data pack that lasts for only 4 days. But with convergent billing, you can offer another top up plan (in parallel) for the subscriber that has its own expiry date. This plan can be offered on top of the base plan and the charging for both the plans will be done simultaneously without any complication.
Global Billing Transformation
Billing transformation has become a common theme across countries. Telcos across the globe realize the importance of convergent billing and the benefits it offers. In the future, it is likely that as a result of consolidated billing, there will be more pressure on infrastructural capabilities of the telcos. Apart from supporting charging and different subscription models, they would also have to offer support for convoluted product models, fulfillment processes along with order management workflow.
Convergence in billing will also lead to global innovation. Application-based services are likely to push more charging and payment transactions along with core services that are subscription based. Moreover, the numbers of payment options that are available to customers are likely to rise with more access to electronic banking services. This will automatically make the payment collection method through different payment gateways even more complicated.
In such a situation, convergent billing services that are complemented with APIs can serve as an excellent resource. APIs not only help you use the services of your vendor’s payment gateways, they also help you in addressing new requirements with ease. APIs grant you easy access to vendor partnerships and capabilities without any need for wholesale customization’s in the billing software.
Telecom industry is evolving at a rapid rate and the requirements of telcos are increasing sharply. In the current state of affairs, convergent billing has emerged as the perfect solution for addressing the newly-created requirements. For all telcos that are looking to provide world-class services, convergent billing serves as the first step to achieve new heights. Also, ensure that you complement your cutting-edge convergent billing solutions with APIs by partnering with a vendor that builds them for different business use cases.