The way in which customers are billed has been getting more and more complex since mobile phones entered the mainstream. The mix of data, voice and SMS, combined with the development of other value-added services has created a complicated array of data for the mobile network to deliver to the customer each month.
Providing a bill to a customer that is both comprehensive and straightforward can be a difficult task, particularly if the organisation has legacy systems in place that may not have been created for that purpose. Software company MATRIXX from California is looking to exploit the weakness of old systems with a flexible billing solution targeted at MVNOs that want to stand out in the way they bill the customer.
Founder and VP marketing for MATRIXX Software, Jennifer Kyriakakis, told Mobile that the firm had spotted the opportunity a while back: ‘We started the company late 2008 – it all came from the billing solution space that has supported telco solutions for many years. We watched many companies begin rolling out the data experiences, and the problems that existed. When smartphones began to come out we thought this was going to change the industry even more. We knew there was a problem and this would make the problem bigger.
‘What a billing support system should look like and how it supported the telco had fundamentally
shifted – the systems in place were built primarily for the voice and were not customer facing at all.
We wanted to create something that gave the operator the control but was also consumer facing.’
MATRIXX has been targeting MVNOs looking for a way to stand out in the market with a billing
solution designed for modern consumer behaviours – Kyriakakis believes that it’s a good time to
target this type of customer: ‘What we see happening in Europe and the UK is the resurfacing of MVNOs in a different form. In 2002/3 these companies often surfaced surrounded by pure branding, and often ended up being a low-cost option. Recently we’ve seen the emergence of the MVNO but not necessarily in the classic MVNO space; now a lot of what drives these players is focused on personalisation control and connectivity options.
‘We believe there is a huge opportunity because the big telcos aren’t doing too well in these areas.
It’s now all about giving an experience you can’t get through a telco, that potentially extends to other devices; a “one-click experience”. We try to deliver a rich online experience that classic telcos are struggling to roll out, encumbered as they are by their massive infrastructure.’