Saturday, October 29, 2005

Bill Payment Services-System-Cellular -The Wave Of The Future For Merchant Retailers. $$$$

Bill Payment transaction growth in the bill payments arena underscore that this dynamic market is primed for continued expansion. New research estimates that bill payment transactions -- will total 1.7 billion items per year and represent 10% of key US bill payments by 2010. Further estimates that bill payment volume in 2005 will total approximately 554 million transactions. Though bill payments initially gained momentum as a collections tool, pay all biller payments by consumers have become the key driver for this market. According to the recent " 2005 Convenience/One-Time Payment Services Survey," 55% of bill payments in the US are currently ascribed to this "convenience or emergency payments" category. Fully 72% of expedited bill payments carry associated fees to the consumer, offsetting service charges incurred by billers and providing another powerful business driver for this market and merchant business owner.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Problems of Distributing Prepaid Services with Hard (Scratch) Cards. Prepaid Cellular & Bill Payment Services-Center. The Wave Of The Future!.

How Electronic Distribution Works

The Problems of Distributing Prepaid Services with Hard (Scratch) Cards


One of the most significant developments in the prepaid telecom industry in the last few years has been the emergence of electronic distribution technologies, such as Prepaid Wireless Direct point-of-sale activaton (POSA) will completely reconstruct the way in which prepaid services are sold.

How Electronic Distribution Works
Prepaid Wireless Direct electronic distribution systems enable any prepaid sevice to electronically transmit their services to virtually any retail location. Prepaid Wireless Direct provides an integrated POSA solution comprised of flexible and compact point-of-sale terminal equipment, proprietary software, transactional communications, protocols, and professional services to assist retailers with implementation.

Once in the retail environment, consumers simply select a product from point-of sale signage or displays and make the approprate payment to the clerk who then inserts a wallet-sized thermal card into the POSA terminal. After pushing a few key corresponding to the desired product, terminal prints a prepaid PIN along with usage instruction on the card. Prepaid Wireless Direct also supports PIN-less delivery whereby the terminal makes a real-time connection service provider. A credit is instantly issued to the customer's account. Within moments of purchase, customers can use services.

The types of retail environments that are beginning to switch to electronic delivery include wireless shops, supermarkets, conveience stores, check cashers, food marts, university shops, electronics stores, hotels and many more.

The Problems of Distributing Prepaid Services with Hard (Scratch) Cards
Prepaid Wireless Direct has developed electronic distribution services to address the many problems of distributing prepaid mobile and other prepaid services through hard cards. Hard cards are also known as scratch cards because the customer scratches a panel on the back of the card to reveal a PIN or other secret code.

The current and traditional distribution methodology of most prepaid services involves the prepaid services involves the provider printing scratch cards, warehousing them and fulfilling orders to distributors. The distributors purchase large quantities for providers, warehouse them and fulfill retail orders. And retailers purchase the cards from distributors, manage the inventory and sell the cards to consumers.

Each participant in the distribution chain encounters problems with scratch cards.

Retailer Problems. Under today's traditional hard card distribution format, most retailers struggle on several fronts to offer prepaid products

Retailer have a difficult time carrying the inventory costs of prepaid services. The recent growth and popularity of prepaid wireless intensifies the problem. With prepiad mobile, airtime denominations are much more expensive the phone cards that most retailers are familiar with. It's common for one prepaid wireless provider to offer 5 or more different airtime denominations that range in price form $20 to $150 each. To make things worse, prepaid wireless airtime is carrier specific, meaning that Verizon prepaid wireless customers cannot top up (recharge or replenish) their accounts with AT&T, Cingular or any other providers's airtime, and vice versa. This makes it critical for retailers to carry airtime for all of the popular national and regional prepaid wireless carriers or operators in their area, something that retailers didn't have to worry about with phone cards. Today there is an average of six major carriers or operators offering prepaid wireless in each of the top 20 U.S. markets. Trying to inventory product for all six could mean that prepaid wireless alone could account for as much as 25 percent of a conveience stores total in-store inventory costs. Many retailers simple cannot afford the cash outlay required to successfully sell prepaid wireless services.

Retailer trying to minimize inventory costs often create out-of-stock problems. In general, stock outages cost the average retailer 6% of its sales, resulting in loss of billions of dollars every year and high customer dissatisfaction.

To make thing worse, today's airtime hard cards, also know as vouchers, scratch cards, replenishment cards, recharge cards, and hanging cards, increase the likelihood of fraud. The biggest problem seems to be at the point of sale where easily concealed, high-value airtime cards can be the target of both retail customers and employees alike. To prevent comsumer theft, retailers often put cards under lock and key but still suffer losses due to employee pilferage. In the conveience store industry, it is believed that as much as 80 percent of the store's shrinkage is attributable to employees. Retail employess often feel underpaid and rationalize theft as a way to make up for what they're owed. As prepaid wireless airtime cards often range in denominations from $10 to $150, employees can easily conceal thousands of dollars of product in their pockets or purses. Cards are also attractive because they can be easily converted to cash on the street by offering them for sale at a discount of their face value. Because they're close cash equivalents, prepaid wireless cards have become tantamount to an underground currency in some places including Europe. Because of the proliferation of theft reduction is the number one investment priority among convenience store executives.

Additionally, each of the supply chain participants lacks efficient inventory controls and reporting while battling fraud. Because of the difficulties they face, and retailers that sell traditional hard cards are in dire need of cost-effective distribution solutions.

Electronic Distribution Solutions
Prepaid Wireless Direct products and services solve the distrbution problems of retailers that sell prepaid wireless (mobile) and other prepaid services.

Retailer. Retailers are increasingly demanding electronic delivery for the significant benefits they derive.

By delivering prepaid products electronically, on demand, with point-of-sale activation(POSA) techniques, Prepaid Wireless Direct essentially allows any retailer to sell prepaid wireless or other prepaid service without carrying any inventory. This eliminates prepaid inventory costs that acted as enormous cash barriers, prohibiting many retailers from selling prepaid wireless or other prepaid services. What once tied up thousands of dollars in inventory, now requires no up front cash from retailers. Now virtually any retailer not only can afford to participate in selling prepaid services, but also can expand their product portfolios to include phone cards, wireless, dail tone, credit cards, internet and more. In addition, they can also afford to represent all of the popular prepaid wireless service providers in their areas.

Also, because products are automatically replenished at POSA terminals electronically in PIN or real-time formats, retailer never run out of inventory. With Prepaid Wireless Direct POSA solution, retailers avoid the heavy costs of out of stocks and resultant customer dissatisfaction.

Once installed in a retail location, the POSA terminal virtually eliminates theft by retail customers and employess. Because only inactive products are on display, retail customers can no longer steal valuable airtime. And because all retail employees are assigned unique passwords required to accesss the POSA terminal, the system creates an audit trail that details all sales activity by date, time, shift and employee. This audit trail provides a monitoring system that virtually eliminates employee theft. With the POSA system, retailer no longer need to count and reconcile scratch card inventory amounts at the beginning of every shift.

POSA also reduces shelf space requirements and simplifies a retailers job by consolidating all prepaid products into one convenient POSA platform. POSA delivers operating flexibility to the retail marketplace that traditional point of sale products fail to provide.

Retailers also have 24/7 online access to reports that show real-time sales activity by each of their locations. Retailers can also print real-time sales report directly for their POSA terminals. Reports can drill down to sales activity at individual retail outlets by product, clerk, day, and time. Reports come standard but may be customized to match the retailers unique information needs. Retailers use sales activity reports can also highlight sudden changes in sales at a particular location. Subsequent investigation often reveals a simple solution to boosting sales such as replacement of signage that has been taken down by a window washer. Timely awareness of problems and simple remedies often make a significant difference to the amount of sales at retail.

Prepaid Wireless Direct is proud to be leading the way in the electronic distribution of prepaid services through retail environment. By delivering unique, industry-first features and benefits, while supporting a growing list of platforms, methods, suppliers, and products. Prepaid Wireless Direct is poised to lead the electronic distribution movement into the future. In addition to its current suite of products. Prepaid Wireless Direct intends to introduce many more electronic product delivery solutions as it continues to leverage the leading technologies to create cutting-edge, customized products for emerging customer segments.

PREPAID PHONE CARDS: Revenue for prepaid calling cards will grow to $5.3 billion by the end of 2006. Prepaid Wireless Direct POS System will provide the prepaid phone cards to merchants at no cost.

PREPAID CELLULAR: By 2007 it is projected that prepaid wireless will account for more than half of the 1.7 billion wireless subscribers in the US. At present, prepaid wireless comprises 25% of the subscription base. The current growth for prepaid wireless exceeds 30% a year.

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bill Payment Services-Prepaid Cellular System. Merchant Retailers Turbo Charging Their Businesses For Road Ahead With Innovating in Demand Concept!

Mobile technology insiders and tech-savvy consumers have been ordering pizza, feeding parking meters and making credit-card payments with a few taps on their keypads since early 2001. In fact, nearly 95 million worldwide cellphone users made purchases via their mobile in 2003, according to a 2004 Telecom Trends International study.

But the wireless world of mobile commerce is making its way into the homes of mainstream moms and the workplaces of average Joes. Telecom Trends projects that by 2008, 2 billion people will be using cellphones to access the Internet for purchases.

"M-commerce is not just e-commerce gone mobile — it's much more — and it will become a serious part of the global economy, worldwide study, told Online Study. "Since people carry their cellphones everywhere, cellphones will eventually start to replace wallets as a place to store credit cards, frequent shopper cards and even family photos."

Cell phone technology is absolutely going to take over, people still don't understand why people text message instead of talking to the person, people will be drawn in by the new technology and grow accustomed to it." People would likely pay a small user fee, similar to 10 or 20 cent text messaging fees, for the convenience.

Credit card companies are working with cell phone and wireless providers to ensure security. In conjunction with 15 cell phone providers, Visa International launched its 3-D Mobile Secure technology in late 2001 to extend payment authentication measures to mobile communications.

Cell phones might replace more than credit and debit cards — they also have the ability to supplant checkbooks, Web sites and computer programs similar to Quicken.

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