Customers who use prepaid phone cards and similar products don’t think much, if at all, about how the technology works behind the scenes. For providers that sell and support these services, however, there are a number of layered considerations about reliability, hardware, software, billing and routing that affect their success in the market.
A company like NACT Solutions, which has been offering products and support to prepaid service providers for 25 years, offers a glimpse into what’s involved with these services. The company sells and supports hardware in the form of Class 4 and Class 5 switches that enable long distance PSTN communications. It also provides white label software and service packages for billing, routing and other considerations of distribution.
“Pinless dialing is the latest trend in the prepaid industry,” explained Arnie Goldstein, NACT’s (News - Alert) president, in a video conversation at ITEXPO East 2012. This service is sold on a multilevel basis in stores. NACT’s Pinless Plus is a multi-tiered distribution system that supports pinless dialing products.
The biggest challenge with pinless dialing, Goldstein said, is that it changes the game for distribution chains. It’s now possible to have multi-tired distribution channels under distributors, with commissions being passed up and down the chain. In-store portals for selling prepaid, pinless dialing services often now incorporate other products as well.
Because of this expansion in the market, NACT is branching out too. From its roots with prepaid calling card support, the company is introducing international cell phone top-up and texting products. Eventually, it plans to expand into payment center operations — making it possible for customers to walk into a store and buy prepaid services as well as pay their utility bills and perform similar functions all form the same point of sale.
“People who were originally just distributing pre-paid calling cards now have a vast array of products they can sell through these portals,” Goldstein noted.
Expansion of the prepaid market is having two simultaneous effects on NACT: enhancing profitability of its existing customer base, and drawing in new types of customers.
“We are now developing Android and iPhone (News - Alert) apps,” Goldstein said during the video conversation. “This way, people who do not have computers in their stores can sell pinless dialing from an iPhone, iPad or Android (News - Alert) device.”
Edited by Rich Steeves