Collecting payments remain a constant challenge for merchants following the advent of new distribution channels as well as new types of goods and services for sale. The ease of recharging phone balance has made it a very convenient channel for collecting payments from customers by merchants.
Carrier Billing refers to payments made through mobile airtime. ABC recharges his phone with 300 naira, XYZ sells self-help books on his website. ABC buys XYZ’s book online and pays for it with 200 naira from his 300 naira balance. No debit cards or bank involved. As simple as ABC.
With Carrier billing, you can collect payments for almost anything. From digital content to taxi rides to utility bill payments. The potential is only limited by what you can imagine.
Andino Edidem is the CEO of a startup that offers microloans and microinsurance to people in rural areas and low-income earners. Most often, these people do not use banks for several reasons, some of which include accessibility and trust.
However, several of these people in rural areas have mobile phones and sometimes are connected to two mobile networks. Collecting payments has been a challenge for Andino. The only channels Andino’s platform offers have not been effective. Direct cash payments over the counter are not efficient because the customers complain of the cost and stress of getting to the banks, the long queues just to pay small tokens, sometimes as little as 100 naira. The other alternative is through web/mobile payment platforms. A lot of the customers do not have bank accounts or debit cards which is a requirement to be able to use the payment platforms available. Most of these people do not have access to the internet or do not know how to use internet enabled devices.
Andino Edidem’s team have heard of the mobile solutions proffered by HollaTags which includes USSD, SMS, IVR and Carrier Billing. He strongly believes that these can help his startup collect payments.
Among other things, HollaTags provides adaptable payment solutions for simple, smart and hitch free carrier billing. A mobile platform that integrates SMS, USSD, Carrier Billing and even Voice can solve most of Andino’s startup challenges.
With our carrier billing integration, customers mobile airtime can be deducted towards payments for their microloans and microinsurance premium. These payments can be automated so that a specific amount is deducted recurrently from customer’s balance at specific times or when they choose to make such payments.
Customers can interact with the startup’s business application from their feature phone via IVR, SMS, and USSD. IVR is particularly attractive for Andino’s startup because they deal with customer’s who use native languages different from English. The Interactive Voice Response messages can be recorded in these native languages.
So, customers with mobile devices can do everything from their phones including applying for insurance or other services, paying premiums and getting notifications and prompts.
Would you like to discuss mobile solutions to your business’s challenges? Contact us.