TelecommunicationsThe telecommunication industry is characterized by huge customer numbers, massive volumes of transaction data, and complex customer relationships that require unique reporting, analysis and query management capabilities.
These issues combine to create the perfect environment for electronic communication.
Striata's Application Platform provides a comprehensive solution for telecommunications companies to migrate their customers onto electronic communication mediums. Tailored for the telecommunication's environment, Striata's technology can present statements, invoices and itemized billing, as well as provide the option to resend documents by fax, email or send notifications by text messaging.
The primary drivers for the introduction of ebilling in this environment is the dramatic cost reductions that can be achieved through converting customers to receive documents online rather than the traditional print and post method. Specifically in the business-to-business arena, where monthly statements and invoices can run into hundreds of pages per customer, presenting these documents on the web or by email can save up to 90% of physical invoicing costs. An additional attraction is the ability to simplify navigation of lengthy bills, by providing consolidated reporting and indexes in the online version, which cannot be achieved on paper.
For businesses, the ability to receive their bills in data format is highly efficient, as the data can be uploaded into an accounting package, and/or analyzed for cost reporting.
The Striata eBilling Suite promotes faster payment cycles by providing both a quicker turnaround on bill processing, as well as the ability for the customer to initiate payment directly from the online invoice. The electronic communication media also provide opportunity for the telecommunications company to market additional services to its customers in an extremely cost effective way.
Encryption & security optionsThere are two email encryption options for this type of detailed billing, however most of our current Telco billers utilize our Striata Encrypted technology.
Advantages that make Striata Encrypted technology ideal for Telco applications:
- The attached email bill is highly compressed, with most email bills less than 120KB in size.
- The 'shared secret' challenge can be two-fold, enabling a very high level of security. For example, the last 6 digits of the customer's telephone number combined with the last 4 digits of their social security number.
- Authentication is offline. The recipient does not need to be connected to the Internet to view their bills.
- The offline bill can be opened in any a browser, thereby eliminating any dependency on the type of email client.
- Multiple file types can be packaged within the HTML view, including a data file for easy accounts receivable (AR) system upload, as well as a PDF version for perfect printing.
- The HTML nature of the opened email bill allows for full 'mini offline website' functionality including landing / summary pages, customer service forms, call rate / plan calculators, full itemized call detail, sorting & categorization, bill stuffers, personalized offers & regulatory information.
- Striata BillPay allows for ultra-secure one-click ACH, debit & credit card payment, directly from within the email bill.
- The eBill attachment remains encrypted even once saved onto the local computer, thus ensuring continued security of personal data.
- Email billing uses two factor authentication bank grade encryption (168 bit 3DES and higher), ensuring higher security of personal data than a publicly accessible SSL protected website.
Marketing opportunitiesDue to the 'push' nature of this type of billing, and the fact that it is electronic, you can include incredibly cost-effective and highly personalized marketing within the email bill. Marketing / advertising messages can be personalized according to any psychographic & demographic data that you have, and the specific message can be placed strategically within and alongside the billing detail.
Experience has shown us that such marketing messages are a fraction of the cost of paper bill stuffers and considerably more effective. The digital bill also provides complete consumer behavior transparency; you can determine exactly which offers were clicked on, when, and by which customers.
In contrast to "push" email billing, one of the unfortunate limitations of presenting bills on a website (pull) is that billers effectively lose their direct marketing capability. In many instances, the paper bill is the only customer touch point that a Telco has. In the case of 'push' email billing, your marketing efforts are more cost effective and have higher take-up rates, whilst still achieving the required 'digital' communication status.
Working in conjunction with an Internet portalEmail billing is designed as the first step to full internet self service. The email serves to present the current bill and take payment, without the need to pre-register.
Once these fundamental steps are taken care of and the paper bill is suppressed, incentivize & invite customers to make use of their website based self service portal for additional customer service; such as copies of previous months' bills, new packages & services etc. It is important to note by the low adoption rates experienced to date (and almost non existent paper suppression), that trying to drive consumers directly online is too big a step for the average consumer.
If you are interested in Striata's Application Platform for Telecommunications, please contact us for further information.