Carrier Billing Subscriptions 101: pt 4 – Monitor, Investigate, React

Ana Sunjic

Marketing Specialist - Mobile Payments

In a subscription-based business with recurring payments, KPIs related to Direct Carrier Billing payment methods need to be defined in cooperation between the merchant and DCB specialists based on specialist’s experience, and live monitoring should be ensured.

In this final blog post from the carrier billing subscription 101 series, we explain why this approach is key, share information about what makes quality monitoring and KPI tracking system, and why is it important both for carriers and merchants to have a carrier billing-specialized partner that can ensure overall platform and processes monitoring. 


What does it take to set up the right metrics?

When setting up the strategy for market penetration and steps for sustainable growth, knowledge about market specifics, regulations and user habits are crucial for making a good start and long-term plan.

Take pricing for example. Adjusting the price to each market should be carefully approached when planning your initial market penetration. Converting the service price in developed markets to Indonesian Rupiahs to define your market price for Indonesia without taking into consideration the average income per person and their spending power will result in lower conversion rates.

The best way to conserve your resources when penetrating a new market is to acquire the first-hand experience right off the bat. By partnering with a specialised provider, you immediately get the benefit of knowing what obstacles can be expected and how to avoid them. Your carrier billing provider can quickly react when optimisation is needed to make changes in flows that are not aligned with market regulations, consequently avoiding penalties from market regulators and operators, negative user feedback, and negative branding impact. 


What to track?

One of the things to track in carrier billing for subscription-based business models is a number of opt-ins (transactions started and successfully finished). Based on Centili’s previous experience in certain markets we know what kind of numbers regarding opt-ins we can expect.

For example, we see that the expected conversion rate in Thailand for subscriptions with one-click flow is 2%. The tracking system on DCB specialist side is tracking all active services on one market where each day is compared. If something unusual happens inside the payment flow, the carrier billing platform management gets automatically notified and runs an analysis to find the source of the problem and resolves it. These anomalies can vary.

A content provider could have started an aggressive marketing campaign that attracted a lot of new users in a short period. If this varies more than 15% from expected results, the system knows that there is something going on in the flow or the subscription process that should be adjusted. In this case, a more detailed research is conducted using the media monitoring method, find that flow and test it. The goal is to find the difference that makes the flow irregular, to suggest adjustments to a merchant and implement them.

Churn rate is another KPI important for subscription based services. In India, which is a market highly developed in terms of DCB, we know that the churn rate of 15% will cause telecom reaction and that needs to be set as an indicator for a flow review. The churn rate gives the information on how many users have unsubscribed from one service in a period of 24 hours after the first charge is made.

Another important KPI to measure for India is the number of redirections of a unique MSISDN to the operator’s site within 24 hours. If it is noticed that one of the MSISDNs is constantly being redirected and trying to initiate a transaction, the carrier billing platform needs to alert all stakeholders and react to it.

For example, there can be a trigger in a preloaded mobile phone game that activates the subscription. This kind of flow should be revamped by the stakeholder as soon as possible after receiving this information to keep user satisfaction high and avoid a rise in the number of complaints.

In most of the countries in Africa, where PSMS subscriptions are more commonplace than DCBs and subscriptions are initiated by MO message, one of the important indicators to track is the number of charges made for one SMS to one number. This is why a DCB platform checks if a user initiated a subscription multiple times. If he did, it might have been by choice, but if there are multiple users with multiple activation processes, then something is amiss. Deeper research should be done to further regulate this flow.

Another thing that affects overall results – KPIs and revenue, are complaints made by end users. A number of complaints and reason for complaint are taken into consideration while analyzing the flows. Taking all numbers, actions, and events into consideration, the DCB platform performs complaint management through complaint system. The system collects all information, analyses them and gives outputs for the conclusion and next steps.


Getting 360 degrees of monitoring

A specialised DCB platform should provide 360 degrees KPI monitoring, helping digital merchants and mobile network operators business thrive on any market, without additional efforts or investment in monitoring and reporting systems.

One of the outcomes of analyses made after taking into consideration all parameters (churn rate, retention rate, complaints...) can be to automatically change the flow from one-click to two-click. For example, this can be done if the churn rate is over 20% for three days in a row. This kind of flow regulations bring benefits for merchants and operators in terms of resources savings, faster reaction times, better reporting, all resulting in an improved user experience for the end users.

Long-term monitoring and live reactions result in higher revenue for all parties involved, merchant, operators, and for carrier billing provider. This is what makes this relationship a true partnership, where every side needs to strive for excellence to provide the best service for the end user, and thus, positively impact the entire ecosystem.

Carrier billing specialists work with all parties involved in the ecosystem which gives them an overall understanding of it and enables for all sides having in mind all potential scenarios and market specifics. By providing carrier billing for subscription-based services in more than 30 countries, Centili offers full consultancy for partners, as well as KPI definitions and results reporting.


Read all blog posts from "Carrier Billing Subscriptions 101" series: 

Carrier Billing Subscriptions 101: pt 1 – Improve Conversion Rates

Carrier Billing Subscriptions 101: pt 2 – Optimise Revenue

Carrier Billing Subscriptions 101: pt 3 – Increase User Retention

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