Prepaid services have been used across the globe for 20 years, particularly in the mobile services industry, where prepaid has helped deliver service to the masses in developing countries. Today, prepaid is surging forward in developed economies, with the New Millenium Research Council predicting that one in three US mobile users will use prepaid services by the end of next year.
However, there’s no reason for prepaid services to be limited to the mobile services market. Today, service providers can drive new revenue streams by delivering video, high speed data, and wireless services using prepaid and on-demand models.
Prepaid billing offers a number of advantages. It allows you to launch new products that reach new market segments or offer add-on services to existing customers. To start with, prepaid services can tap into a large pool of potential customers who are not interested in signing up for long-term contracts. Low-income earners, transient workers, students, and contract-shy individuals may all be included in this category.
Secondly, prepaid gives subscribers the option to try out new services or accept trial offers for a limited time basis. For instance, you could offer video channel packages or faster internet speeds trials before the service is available via subscription. This would allow your subscribers to experience the service before making a larger investment. You could also use the prepaid model as a convenient way to offer on demand products in addition to subscription services. For example, subscribers could purchase video-on-demand content or subscribe to a sports channel during a special event, such as the 2014 World Cup, allowing you to create an additional revenue stream without cannibalizing your existing service.
Finally, prepaid services can be used as a way to retain and reward customers. Transferring a subscriber to a prepaid option is a better alternative than having the customer cancel their subscription altogether. You could also use prepaid credits to reward customers and trial promotions.
A major benefit of prepaid is that you can create new products without heavy network investment, as the infrastructure already exists. Prepaid may even offer a way for you to offload pre-owned customer-premises equipment, as prepaid subscribers are more interested in affordable deals than using the latest high-end devices.
One stumbling block to offering prepaid services is the complexity involved in converging postpaid and prepaid service options. Prepaid service requires integration with billing, CRM, inventory, provisioning, and other network elements. One solution could be to roll out prepaid slowly in different markets, and add more options as the service matures. You may need to redesign your product catalog to offer new services based on per hour, day, month, or whatever billing method you decide on. However, the beauty of prepaid is that you have the flexibility to implement the payment option that works best for you, from simple credit card payments to prepaid cards and pre-authorized billing charges.
Overall, prepaid services allow you to be creative, reach out to new customers, and offer your existing subscribers a wider range of choices. If prepaid offers a way to expand into new markets without eating into your current revenue – why wait? For more about prepaid service solutions, visitwww.incognito.com/solutions/activate-prepaid-service-options.