Optimizing the User Experience
One of our primary areas of focus in 2019 was optimizing the user experience. We’ve heard from many of you that increasing productivity is critical to your success so we have made it easier than ever to navigate and customize the solution.
New usability features include:
- Reducing the number of clicks
- Predictive search and lookups
- Multi-tab browsing
- Drag-and-drop screen layout
- Responsive UI
- Currency and number formatting options
Updated navigation offers faster access to information while reducing the number of clicks to retrieve pages from navigation history.
The enhanced search feature allows for type-ahead search and predictive lookups based on user inputs. In addition, you can configure the fields used as part of the type-ahead search criteria to match your business needs.
Multi-tab browsing allows you to open multiple tabs connected to the same instance of BillingPlatform. Any link can be opened in a new tab, including those in the new Recently Viewed history panel and hierarchical navigation.
You can also configure your screen layout to be multi-column, based on functions to better represent your business objectives.
We’ve enhanced support for multiple-devices, providing a responsive User Interface (UI) that allows for web pages to resize based on device and screen size.
The new currency and number formatting feature allows you to configure the platform’s currency and numeric field formats, to precisely define how currencies and values appear in the user interface, aligning data formatting with accounting and regional standards.
Expanding the Depth and Breadth
of the Billing Platform
Another area of focus is to expand the depth and breadth of the solution to increase your operational efficiency. We understand the important role our platform plays in helping to reduce errors and to stay ahead of the competition. These features are designed to enhance billing processes to improve business automation, deploy pricing tactics that customers will love, and automate payment processing.
Accumulating Usage lets you offer tiered pricing over a period of time, that is, accumulate usage for multiple invoice periods.
In addition to setting the accumulation period, you can also set the pricing structure to either incremental or bulk.
Example: You define tiers as:
- 0-10,000 units sold at $1.00 per unit
- 10,001-20,000 at $0.50 per unit
- 20,001 and above at $0.25 per unit
Under the current incremental tier behavior, the customer has one invoicing cycle to qualify for a cheaper tier, whatever usage they generated in the prior invoice cycles is ignored. So if a customer purchased 15,000 units over two months – 9,000 units purchased in one invoice cycle and 6,000 units purchased in the next invoice cycle – they pay $15,000 = 9,000 x $1.00 + 6,000 x $1.00.
Now, usage can be accumulated over a specified period of time. In the same example of purchasing, 15,000 units over two invoice cycles, the customer pays $7,500 = 15,000 x $0.50.
Because usage accumulations happen over multiple invoicing periods, the system now shows usage accumulated in each invoicing period.
Accumulators can also be set on contract rates, which is helpful for customers who use contracts to store rates or used in hierarchies. This allows you to apply the tiering model on the combined total of usage taken from several accounts measured over multiple billing periods. In this case, usage from child accounts can be accumulated onto the parent account.
Strengthening Subscription Management Models
To strengthen subscription management, we’ve updated some of the more daunting activities that were typically done manually in the past:
- Co-terms. For custumers with multiple subscriptions, they now have the option to renew those subscriptions on the same date regardless of the purchase date,
- Mid-cycle quantity changes. Customers on a subscription plan can change the quantity of their subscription mid-cycle with an accurate reflection of those changes on their invoice.
- Proration. When making changes to subscription renewal dates (co-terms) and mid-cycle changes, rates are prorated accordingly, ensuring customers are accurately charged for the portion of the services they’ve used.
Wondering how this helps?
Co-terms allows a customer to receive all charges from multiple subscriptions on the same date making their spending more predictable.
Mid-cycle quantity changes alleviate you from having to cancel and recreate a subscription for a customer who wants to make a change to a subscription, streamlining invoice presentment, scrutinizing changes on accounts, and improving the overall user experience.
Automation of Lockbox Payments
Do you have an electronic or lockbox payment file that you receive from your bank? If so, you are in luck, BillingPlatform has a payment lockbox feature that automates the processing of those files for payment reconciliation.
Now, receivable reconciliation becomes an automated activity that ensures accurate and matching account balance between your billing and financial systems.
Accommodating New Security Regulations
Security and protecting your customer data are top-of-mind at BillingPlatform. We constantly update our platform to adhere to the latest security standards. Two recent updates have been made to address Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM).
PSD2 to Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2)
PSD2 is a regulation passed by the EU that aims to increase online payment security and expand the financial services ecosystem. The goal of PSD2 is to fight fraud by requiring stricter authentication for payments made by EU shoppers.
For those impacted by PSD2, BillingPlatform offers built-in authentication logic that is available on payments through our customer-facing portal or administrative interface.
Our solution extends to bank financial systems to help recover rejected payments and handle any ambiguous billing scenario that would otherwise create friction during the PSD2 transition.
Learn more about PSD2 compliance here.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
BillingPlatform supports DKIM, the security protocol that helps prevent spoofing of outgoing emails by third parties. This means that all emails originating from BillingPlatform (customer welcome email, account statements, credit card expiration notices, etc) are authenticated and authorized as valid through the recipients’ processes.
For information on how to take advantage of these features, contact us.
BillingPlatform Launches Innovation Lab
BillingPlatform is pleased to announce the launch of the Innovation Lab--an environment designed to explore and develop new ideas to help solve the business challenges faced by enterprises today and into the future.
This new lab reinforces BillingPlatform’s commitment to leadership and innovation in order to advance global monetization processes and to accelerate digital transformation for our customers. It is intended to be a source of fresh ideas to solve unmet needs and pain points and to add credibility and integrity to the BillingPlatform solution. In addition to our market research, customers, employees, and industry analysts will be invited to offer ideas to explore.
As working prototypes are developed, customers will get a chance to experience them in their beta version and provide feedback as a critical part of the innovation process. Prototypes that are proven successful through the Innovation Lab will be graduated to a position on the roadmap to become a part of the standard offering.
We look forward to launching our first prototype in the coming weeks as well as rolling out a forum to solicit ideas. In the meantime, if you have suggestions for us to pursue, please contact us.
As we continue to build out the solution to help enterprises transform their billing operations, here is a preview of some of the features we plan to release in the coming months:
- Our expanded Credit Posting feature will allow you to credit multiple invoice line items on a single credit. In addition, the credit memo document can be generated with customer defined document templates and level of detail. This new feature will help to speed the process between issuing a credit and notifying the customer of the credit, increasing the agility of your operation and improving customer satisfaction.
- The Platform Management Console is bound to become a favorite tool. The console will provide visibility into platform processes and metrics, such as progression of invoice close or usage processing, inbound and outbound messaging queues, and status of background processes responsible for many activities within the system all of which are is vital for effectively monitoring billing operations. With this console, you will be able to see that critical processes are up and running, and you will have a real-time view of statistics about all processes such as execution status and pending count of items. The user, subject to their security profile, can have complete control over starting, stopping, or restarting any of the processes.
- With the Automated Configuration Deployment feature, you will be able to automate the promotion of changes between environments. From product catalog entries to revenue recognition rules, from entity changes to workflows, any aspect of the platform modified through configuration can be packaged into reusable bundles and then deployed with a press of a button. Building processes around reusable bundles means the same bundle can be repeatedly deployed across any number of organizations streamlining operations.