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With the fast-paced technological advancement and increasing competition in the industry, telecommunication companies (telecoms) and mobile network operators (MNOs) are looking for ways through which they can improve the quality of their service and ultimately the health of their revenues. In such a case, it is important for them to not only look for new revenue streams like Micro Credit but also the bottlenecks in their current service delivery process that result in loss of sales. To uncover the latter, we conducted a study focusing on various telecoms and MNOs in Ivory Coast and concluded that a major portion of their potential revenues is lost because the user who is willing to buy their service runs out of resources to do so. This is specifically true in the context of prepaid services, where the user can only get access to a service once he has paid for it.  The study’s primary subject were the mobile network operators whose distributors are unable to sell airtime to subscribers in case their stock runs out and they lack the resources to buy it immediately. Due to these instances, the operator loses a major portion of its potential revenues.


To understand the implications of this issue, the study details that on average 5200 unique resellers of one operator are affected every day. Due to lack of credit, these resellers were then unable to carry out airtime topup transactions, resulting into a total loss of about USD 1.98 million per annum for the operator. Such losses can be avoided if service providers can ensure service continuity despite the low stock at reseller’s end. Micro Credit is just the solution that can help them regain this lost value.


Micro Credit solution provides operators and service providers with the ability to extend their service to their users through a small, short term credit facility. Click To Tweet


Also, known as the emergency credit service, it allows a consumer to use the service by availing a loan that will be repaid when he/she recharges his/her prepaid subscription account again. This is particularly useful in cases where subscribers or resellers of mobile network operators need airtime to make emergency calls or sell airtime respectively.


In case of subscribers or end consumers of telecom operators, this service is one step ahead of the Call Me Back feature that allows a subscriber to send a message to another subscriber to call him back in case he lacks the airtime to make the call himself.


Seamless Distribution Services (SDS) makes it easier for service providers and telecoms to provide this facility to their distributors, resellers and subscribers by minimizing the credit risk for them. Through its intelligent system of credit scoring and record keeping, the loan offered to each distributor or reseller is customized according to his past records and ability to pay back. This takes the burden off from the shoulders of the operator who can focus on improving the quality of service being provided to the users. Without the need to make heavy investments in additional infrastructure, Micro Credit solution enables the operators to enhance their revenues, leading to increased profits. In addition, by providing an uninterrupted service to end users, service providers are able to inculcate customer loyalty and ultimately decrease churn rates.

By availing the Micro Credit facility, distributors, resellers and subscribers enjoy continued access to services. For distributors and resellers, this means that they will never have to turn down any subscriber who approaches them to buy prepaid airtime. As a result, they can continue carrying out their business transactions seamlessly. On the other hand, subscribers are able to enjoy access to services without having to worry about low balance in their airtime account.


Micro Credit service not only applies to prepaid airtime distribution, it can also be made available for utility subscriptions like water, electricity and gas. Users in need of loan can easily request for it by dialing a short code provided by the service provider, through their handheld mobile devices or Wireless Point of Sales terminals. This loan can easily be recovered once the user recharges his prepaid account again. Because of its ability to improve operator revenues, enhance service delivery and ensure customer satisfaction, Micro Credit service proves to be a game changer for all stakeholders in the service delivery, distribution and consumption process.


Author Sania Amir

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