In the race of deploying hyped up solutions like 5G and IoT, it is easy for telecom operators to overlook basic market needs like digital airtime. With mobile connectivity at an all time high and mobile devices playing a more crucial role, customers are developing extended digital identities and expect service providers to keep track of their changing needs. In this digitally-driven era – with 8 billion mobile devices in the world and 5.1 billion mobile subscriptions – one of the most important priorities of customers is to get more value for money and to reduce the number of touchpoints to get that value.
Digital airtime use cases
For a long time now but especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, telecom operators have been forced to re-examine their current offerings of mobile, data, and voice to customers. The industry in general, and telcos specifically, have had to weather saturated markets and stiff competition from free communication platforms. This trend has been a contributor to high customer churn and has been eating at their net revenue. By leveraging the digitization component of the airtime and voucher management market, telcos can offer a full suite of digital services and expand their visibility to existing and new customers to boost revenue.
Using a brick-by-brick approach, MNOs can expand their product portfolio to channel in new revenue streams. In many cases, MNOs have resorted to bundle offers for customers, whereby customers enjoy multiple services like voice and data through a single point of contact and discounted services if available.
With the emergence and take-over of the internet, customers today want more services coming from a single source provider and offering only voice-based services means losing out to competitors. Bundling has been an evolutionary process for MNOs to improve growth as it encompasses dual play – voice and data, and triple play – voice, data, and streaming services too in some cases.
MTN Benin, part of one of the largest telecom operator groups worldwide, experienced an incredible sales growth through Seamless airtime and data bundles facilitated by our flagship distribution management platform, ERS 360°. Coupled with our campaign management platform, MTN Benin has 91% of their resellers actively selling bundle products and that 81% of prepaid recharge transactions were for bundle purchases.
Value added services
Offering an end-to-end prepaid recharge solution not just for airtime but also for other basic needs like bill payment is a low hanging fruit for MNOs. Using the same infrastructure and system, they can add an additional feature to their product offerings which improves their interaction with customers and cements their loyalty. This can work as an ‘over the counter’ service through retailer touch points or telecom operators can enable customers to pay their bills directly through mobile apps. The aggregation of diverse services empowers the MNOs to establish a robust monetizing network by bringing together multiple vendors into one place for the convenience of the customers.
As a digital product and dealer management platform, ERS 360° has sophisticated API provisions for easy third-party integration making your retail POS a one-stop-shop for third party products, especially bill payments. Seamless equipped MTN Ghana with this platform, which in turn allowed them to offer bill payment features to the end consumers and improve their growth in the market.
How does ERS 360° help?
Managing both functional and strategic features of the digital distribution chain, ERS 360° harnesses digitization to not only enhance customer experience but also to reduce costs significantly. The system also handles digital distribution of airtime to enable eTopup as an end-to-end solution that enables the service providers to offer any value recharge to subscribers at any time. The underlying purpose of this platform – which is capable of carrying out billions of transactions annually – is to provide unparalleled services to the telecom operators to manage all their supply chain and distribution needs digitally.
As a gold standard, a scalable recharge and voucher management platform should allow telecom operators and other service providers to comprehensively manage multiple voucher types and products simultaneously. Since MNOs house and manage large amounts of customer data, this also puts them in a favorable position to use that information to personalize their product offerings to the unique needs of their customers allowing them to unlock sales growth in this fiercely competitive market.