Prepaid billing system in XtraWiFi is borrowed from NetControl (Bandwidth management solution for broadband companies from same company). This billing system is robust and in use for 15 years (started 2002)
Goals for XtraWiFi billing system
In order to better understand the prepaid billing system in XtraWiFI, let us look it at from the point of view of various entities within the system.
User in XtraWiFi, after registration can recharge using either online payment gateway or buy recharge at a local store paying cash.
Small kirana or general store selling XtraWiFi recharge is the most common occurrence.
Optionally, user can be given credit limit (feature available but not implemented in XtraWiFi. Planning to implement at a later date).
For example, a user can have credit limit of Rs. 20 so that user can use the credit limit to recharge himself when out of cash.
Recharge center is either a store or individual who recharges users for the services required by them.
Recharge is done through captive portal on XtraWiFi.
For carrying out activity of recharge to users, recharge center need not be active in XtraWiFi. But should be connected to XtraWiFi service through hotspot.
There are 3 types of recharge centers
This type of recharge center is appointed by XtraWiFi revenue team. Typically Rs. 500 or Rs. 1000 is collected from the recharge center and recharge is done along with commission. For instance, chips worth Rs. 515 is transferred to recharge centers account for the payment of Rs. 500.
The recharge center then recharges to users across the counter by collecting cash from users. Recharge can be done till available balance is sufficient to recharge.
At the discretion of XtraWiFi revenue team, recharge centers with credit limit are appointed with sufficient balance to start operations. Typically Rs. 500 credit limit is provided to start operations.
Recharge activities are similar to that of first type. Periodically the recharge center pays XtraWiFi to continue recharge activities.
XtraWiFi intends to promote unattended recharge center in a big way. In this mode, individual or shopkeeper identifies the need for recharge center in the geographical area.
This user needs to register with XtraWiFi and top up his/her account with online payment. Better commission is given for users in this scheme.
Online payment option is available in captive portal of XtraWiFi.
XtraWiFi revenue team handles cash payments from Recharge centers and deposit with XtraWiFi accounts team. This process is critical and must be handled carefully and without intervention by administrative team unless absolutely necessary. Handling small cash is particularly cumbersome with number of transactions that need to be recorded. Paperwork is completely eliminated for recording transactions.
Revenue Team Member (RTM) is given credit limit suitable to one’s average daily collection. At the end of the day (or end of the week, as the case may be), the member deposits cash with the accounts team (or in a bank) and gets credited the amount in his account, which is reflected immediately.
Online report of teams balance is available to accounts team.
Each and every member of XtraWiFi has credit limit assigned. This credit limit is typically about 1/3rd of their salary. Staff is encouraged to recharge users wherever required. Recharge amount is collected from staff on the day of salary.
Every person who has XtraWiFi registration can do promotional activities and earn chips. This can be encashed (for staff) or used for recharge or transfer.
Current promotional incentive is as follows
These are handled by billing system without human (administrative) intervention.