Configuring a Distributor for Prepaid Services

Using Distributors to Expand Your Sales Network

Checklist

Create a Distributor

Create a Customer Class

Create a Customer

Generate a Batch of Accounts for the Distributor

Assign a Commission Rate to the Batch

Distributor Actions

Login to Self-care Interface

Activate Accounts

Create Subdistributor (optional)

Assign Accounts to the Subdistributor

 

Using Distributors to Expand Your Sales Network

This section demonstrates how to configure a distributor who will be selling your prepaid products to end users.

 

The procedure is very similar to the general prepaid set-up described in the Prepaid Services section. Only a few additional comments are necessary:

·       You (the administrator) will generate a batch of accounts for the distributor, who will then activate individual accounts when they are ready to be sold.

·       Accounts are initially created as inactive, and the distributor must activate them before they can be used.

Checklist

Print the following page and use it to mark the operations you have completed while performing the system setup according to the instructions in this chapter. Please make sure that you perform all of the operations in the order designated (all of the boxes should be checked), otherwise the service will not work.

Operations to be performed by the administrator

 

Operation

 

Done

Rating configuration

 

Create a distributor and set his commission rate on the Additional Info tab

[     ]

Specify a username and password for the distributor to access the self-care interface

[     ]

Create a customer class and define the Prepaid Cards Holder business model within

[     ]

Create an internal customer object which will hold the prepaid accounts

[     ]

Generate a batch of prepaid cards which will be assigned to your distributor

[     ]

 

Operations to be performed by the distributor

Account provisioning

 

Go to the customer self-care web page and log in using the credentials provided

[     ]

Activate the prepaid cards

[     ]

Create a Distributor

The distributor entity you are about to create will define your relationship with a business partner who distributes your services and allow him further service management (e.g. creating his own customers and accounts).

 

Add a distrubutor

 

Add commission

 

In the Participants section of Admin-Index, choose Distributors.

1.      On the Distributor Management page, choose add Add Distributor.

2.      Fill in the New Distributor form. Please note that there are several tabs with extra information available on the screen. The most important fields are:

Main form (top)

·       Customer ID – A short name for this distributor; this will be used on the web interface.

·       Customer Class – Customer class allows you to define a policy for automated payment collection. By choosing a specific class here the customer will automatically inherit all of the class properties (grace period, invoice template, etc.).

·       Currency – The currency in which this distributor will be billed.

·       Permanent Credit Limit – Assign a credit limit for the distributor.

Web Self-care tab

·       Time Zone – The time zone in which the distributor will see his xDRs, and which will also define his billing period. For example, if you choose America / New_York here and the billing period is Monthly, the billing period will start on the first day of the month at midnight (12 am) New York time.

·       Web Interface Language – The language to be used on the customer’s self-care web interface.

Additional Info tab

·       Default Sales Commission – This commission is applied when an account is created or a distributor is assigned (e.g. if the distributor's commission percentage is 15%, and a new account with a $10 balance has been created, then the distributor is charged $8.5 and has a $1.5 profit).

·       Default Payment Commission – This commission is applied when payment is entered (e.g. when the distributor makes payment of $10 towards an account, and his payment commission is 10%, then the distributor is charged $9 and has a $1 profit).

Invoices & Taxation tab

·       Send statistics via email – Summary only – Distribute a call summary only, and do not attach a details file; this might be useful in the case of a large amount of calls. Other options are full statistics (attach a complete list of xDRs) or do not send (this option prevents the delivery of event statistics to this customer via email).

Balance & Credits tab

·       Credit Limit Warning Threshold – The distributor can be notified by email when his balance is dangerously close to the credit limit and he will soon be unable to activate accounts. Here you can enter the value for such a warning threshold. This can be entered:

o   as a percentage (e.g. 90%). The warning will be sent when the customer’s balance exceeds that percentage of his credit limit. So, if the credit limit is USD 1000.00 and the threshold is 90%, a warning will be sent as soon as the balance exceeds USD 900.00.

o   as an absolute value. The warning will be sent as soon as the balance goes over the specified value.

 

3.      Click save_close Save & Close.

Create a Customer Class

A customer class provides the ability to define a group of parameters in a centralized manner, and then apply those parameters to many customers simultaneously.

1.      In the  Billing section of the PortaBilling® main page, choose Customer Classes.

2.      On the Customer Class Management page, click add Add.

 

Create a customer class

 

3.      Fill in the customer class general parameters for the customer class:

·       Name – Type a short name for this customer class.

·       Currency – Specify the currency in which you want to set the Collection Threshold. When specified, this customer class can only be assigned to customers with the same currency. Once the currency selection is saved, it cannot be changed.

·       Business Model – Select which customers this customer class will apply. Select Prepaid Cards Holders from the list

·       Description – Your comments about the intended use of this customer class.

·       Taxation plugin – Select Fixed VAT Rate or the Custom taxation plugin to calculate taxes based on the tax rate and top up amount.

·       Configurethe Statistics parameters:

o   Generate Statistics – Select On to generate statistics for customers.

o   Send Statistics via email – Define how you will provide statistics to your customers.

·       Billing period is closed – Select Automatically.

·       Suspend on Insufficient Funds for Subscriptions – Specify whether PortaBilling® should check whether the customer has sufficient funds for their subscription charges. 

 

4.      On the Taxation tab, specify the taxation parameters for the selected taxation method.

 

·       Taxes included into the rates/fees – select No.

·       Assess taxes – Select At the moment of payment for prepaid customers and at the end of billing period for postpaid customers.

 

Configure taxation

 

5.      Click save_close Save & Close.

Create a Customer

In the case of prepaid card services, the identity of the actual customer (end user) is not stored in the billing, and he or she is identified only by the PIN number used. Still, you will need at least one customer object in PortaBilling® to maintain the customer-account hierarchy, so that all of the prepaid card accounts are organized in one location.

 

Add a customer

 

In the Participants section of Admin-Index, choose Customers.

 

1.      On the Customer Management page, click add Add Customer. In this example, we assume that you are creating the customer manually, so choose Manually from the drop-down menu (do not use any of the Quick Form options).

2.      Fill in the New Customer form. Please note that there are several tabs with extra information available on the screen. The most important fields are:

Main form (top)

o   Customer ID – Short name for the customer object; to be used on the web interface.

o   Customer Class – Choose the customer class you have created for your prepaid cards holder.

o   Balance Control - Specify the way the customer will pay for the service: Postpaid – after consuming the services; Prepaid – prior to consuming the services. Choose Prepaid in this field.

o   Currency – The currency must match the currency of your prepaid product.

o   Available Funds – Since this customer is used as a placeholder for storing accounts, the amount of available funds is insignificant. Type zero here.

 

3.      Click save_close Save & Close.

Generate a Batch of Accounts for the Distributor

To generate a batch of accounts under the distributor, use the account generator. When a distributor is selected, the account generator automatically enables only inactive debit accounts to be created.

 

1.      Go to the Customers screen (the one containing the list of customers).

2.      Next to the customer name, click on the Account  or accounts Accounts icon (the one in the Accounts column) to go to account management for that customer.

 

Generate a batch of accounts for the distributor

 

Open account generator

 

Fill in the accounts information

 

Add the distributor

 

3.      Click on add Account Generator.

4.      Fill in the “Account generator” form:

o   Number of accounts – Number of accounts (prepaid cards) to be generated.

o   Account Role – The defined usage for these accounts. Select Prepaid card from the list.

o   Main ProductChoose the main product, which you would like your accounts to have.

o   Blocked – Specifies whether the account is blocked or unblocked. If this is checked, the account will be unusable.

Account Info tab

o   Opening Balance – Specify the opening balance for the cards.

o   Inactive – It is normal practice to generate all prepaid cards as inactive so they cannot be misused before being sold to the dealer or end customer. You can always activate the whole batch of cards or an individual card later.  This box is automatically checked if the distributor is selected.

o   Batch – A batch is a management unit for accounts. If a new batch name is provided in the text field, all accounts will be placed into a new batch with the given name. Otherwise, an existing batch should be selected from the drop-down list.

 

Please refer to the Prepaid Calling Cards (Using a Gateway) section for a description of the other parameters.

 

5.      Click add Generate; a confirmation screen will indicate that account generation procedure had been placed in the task queue.

Assign a Commission Rate to the Batch

You can also assign a commission rate to the batch that the accounts belong to.  In this case, the batch commission rate will be used when the distributor activates the account.

 

1.      While in the Edit Customer window, click on the Screen20Batches button to go to the Batch Management screen.

 

Go to the batch management page

 

Assign a commission rate to the batch

 

2.      Click the edit icon next to the batch name to edit it.

3.      Enter the Sale and Payment commission.

4.      Then click the image38  Save icon.

Distributor Actions

At this point you have finished with the administrator part of the work. You just need to send the distributor his login credentials for the PortaBilling® self-care interface, while the rest of the tasks described below will be performed by the distributor himself.

Login to Self-care Interface

Open the customer self-care page in a browser (by default https://<your-porta-billing- server-name>:8444) and type in the username / password which was provided to you.

Activate Accounts

When the batch of accounts has been generated, the Distributor can activate these accounts.

1.      In the Participants section of the Distributor-Index page, choose Accounts.

2.      On the Account Info page, click Show Accounts button.

 

Browse the accounts

 

Select the account

 

3.      Click on the Account ID of a specific account.

4.      Choose Screen22 Activate in the toolbar to activate this account.

 

Activate the account

 

Close the account info page

 

5. Press the close Close button to return to the Account Info window.

6. Repeat steps 1–5 to activate more accounts.

 

When an inactive account is activated, the distributor is charged according to the sales commission rate. A summary of and the charges for this transaction are visible to the distributor in the xDR browser.

 

1.      In the Statistics section of the Distributor-Index page, choose xDR Browser.

2.      Specify from / to dates and press the Show xDRs button.

 

Go to the xDR history page

 

Browse the xDR history

 

3. Press the close Close button to leave the xDR browser or xDRs button to return to Your xDR History page.

Create Subdistributor (optional)

If the distributor wants to organize a distribution network of his own distributors and share his commission with them, he needs to create subdistributors and then assign commissions to them.

 

In our example, the distributor John wants to make Alex his subdistributor and so he defines the following commissions for him: 10% sales commission and 5% payment commission.

When subdistributor Alex executes a business operation (e.g. makes a manual payment of $10 for a retail customer), the balance for each party involved changes as follows:

·       The customer receives $10 to his balance that he can spend on services.

·       Subdistributor Alex now owes the distributor $9.50 (the payment amount minus commission: $10 - ($10 x 5%) = $9.50).

·       Distributor John owes the service provider $9 (the payment amount minus commission: $10 - ($10 x 10%) = $9).

 

Add a subdistributor

 

Spesify commission for the subdistributor

 

1.      In the Participants section of the Distributor-Index page, choose Subdistributors.

2.      On the Subdistributor Management page, choose add Add Subdistributor.

3.      Fill in the New Subdistributor form:

Main form (top)

o   Customer ID – A short name for this subdistributor; this will be used on the web interface.

o   Permanent Credit Limit – Specify the credit limit value for the subdistributor.

Additional Info tab

o   Default Sale Commission – This commission is applied when an account is activated (e.g. if the subdistributor's commission percentage is 10%, and an account with a $10 balance has been activated, then the subdistributor is charged $9 and has a $1 profit).

o   Default Payment Commission – This commission is applied when payment is entered (e.g. when the subdistributor makes payment of $10 towards an account, and his payment commission is 5%, then the subdistributor is charged $9.50 and has a $0.50 profit).

Note: Subdistributor sales and payment commissions cannot exceed those of the main distributor.

4.      Click save_close Save&Close.

5.      Repeat steps 1–4 to add more subdistributors.

Assign Accounts to the Subdistributor

To be fully engaged in the selling process, subdistributors should be given accounts to operate with.

 

 Assign accounts to the subdistributor

 

1.      In the Participants section of the Distributor-Index page, choose Accounts.

2.      On the Account Info page, select the batch of accounts in the Batch field and click Show Accounts button.

3.      Check Distributor checkbox in the left-hand select menu and choose the subdistributor.

4.      Click Update.

NOTE: Only inactive accounts will be assigned to subdistributor.

Subdistibutors can now operate with accounts (activate and recharge them) the way main distributors do.