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STAY INFORMED: START BILLING YOUR CUSTOMERS WISELY

October 4, 2018
Arpine Minasyan
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Today most of the VoIP companies struggle with the challenge of how to efficiently charge for their services. Unlike traditional phone services, which was charged based on the recorded calls per minute, VoIP technology came up with a better VoIP Billing software working in conjunction with VoIP softswitches. It enabled instant charging for VoIP calls ensuring that customers can only make calls within their credit limit and only destinations prescribed by the Billing Administrator. There are numerous options for VoIP billing:

  • Connection charges
  • Disconnection charges
  • Variable incremental billing, which means that customers are charged for call duration that they did not use. 60/60 or 60/1 billing could well result in additional revenues between 10 and 30 percent given an average call duration of 2 minutes.
  • VoIP billing service can be either subscription based or stepped depending on the duration of the call (stepped billing minutes bundles).

It is also possible to charge the customer based on call data records, though it may cause bill shock problems for them. The main disadvantage of this method is that it is never known until the rating is complete how much traffic has been passed by the customer, thus there are basically no limits to the usage.

Why do you need VoIP Billing?

Integrating a billing module to their VoIP system allows providers and VoIP admins to cross-check minutes used by their agents. Moreover, in the case of fraudulant billing or overcharges by the VoIP provider, VoIP billing is an ideal solution to easily compare results and rectify the issues. Especially if you own multi-tenant VoIP system, billing integration is something you have to care about. To be more convincing let’s see what benefits you will gain integrating billing module to your VoIP phone system.

  • Setup and configure your own VoIP traffic limit based on campaign
  • Check and monitor VoIP usage real time in your system
  • Cross-check billing is done by VoIP provider in your own Billing platform
  • Bill your tenants based on their VoIP minute usage
  • Generate extra revenue by offering VoIP minutes along with Call center features

How does VoIP Billing work?

While your VoIP softswitch is properly installed, your provider can set their own calling rate for each destination. When the rate is set, the provider then sets the increments to round calls too up. Based on the settings that the provider configured, calls can be rounded based on either minutes or seconds. Here’s an example to make the process easy to map.

Suppose a customer calls from India to the USA and maintains the call for 55 sec. If the settings are set by minutes the 55 sec call will be rounded to 1 minute and the customer will be charged for a minute instead of 55 seconds. You can also add the following to the cost:

  • Taxes
  • Surcharges
  • Fees
  • Issue credit

Billing software combined with VoIP softswitches provide AAA (Authentication, Authorisation, Accounting).

What are the main features of VoIP Billing?

Usually, open-source VoIP software provides the following features:

  • Multiple currencies
  • Prepaid or postpaid
  • Unlimited devices for users
  • Concurrent calls for users
  • Real-time balance update
  • Least cost routing
  • Payment gateway
  • Invoicing system
  • Multi routing system

The best VoIP Billing Platforms

The most popular VoIP billing software are:

VoIP software with open-source architecture provides access to complex rating and charging engines, high-performance computing, and automatic invoice generators for both Prepaid and Postpaid subscribers.

  1. A2Billing

A2Billing is Asterisk-based open-source billing solution. Together, they are a physical Telecom Platform and Softswitch providing a wide range of telecom services using both traditional telephone technology and VoIP. It contains a real-time billing engine which rates,bills, invoices each call, and supports payment gateways.

  1. Freeside

Freeside is an open-source billing, ticketing and account administration package for Internet Service Providers that now includes support for VoIP CDR rating and billing. Freeside supports Asterisk and many other CDR formats. Freeside Internet Services also offer installation, integration, configuration, migration, training, and customization services.

  1. ASTPP

ASTPP is an advanced open-source VoIP billing solution. It provides class 4 and class 5 softswitch billing solutions for FreeSWITCH and FusionPBX supporting both prepaid and postpaid billing along with call rating and credit control.

Have you picked your favorite VoIP billing solution yet? If not, then choose one of the available billing software, IP2Voice’s robust servers will handle your VoIP billing to ensure smooth VoIP billing system for your business.

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