By: Willem Scholtz
Date: 23 March 2015
The Prepaid Ecosystem consists of a community of living organisms that comprise of the companies and individuals, which produce, distribute, vend and consume the non-living components, i.e. virtual products like prepaid airtime, prepaid electricity, etc. In the global Prepaid Ecosystem there is an ever-growing population of consumers that consumes a growing supply of prepaid goods and services. In a study, MasterCard found that the prepaid market would grow more than 22% per annum over the next five years. This study also projects a global prepaid opportunity of over $822 billion by 2017.
As with natural ecosystems, diversity and balance is the key to a sustainable ecosystem. If the Prepaid Ecosystem is rich in the variety of prepaid goods and services, there will be a higher rate of interaction between the different players in the ecosystem. This inevitably leads to a higher flow of goods and services to the consumer and a higher flow of money to the producer.
TradeSwitch® enables Prepaid Ecosystems by fast integrations into producers of virtual products and services. Connectors can rapidly be developed to mobile networks, utility providers, banks, insurance companies and various other producers of virtual goods and services. TradeSwitch® brings all these goods and services together in order to enhance the Prepaid Ecosystem’s diversity and thereby stimulating and encouraging interaction within the ecosystem.
The TradeSwitch® Node Management component is used to map out the complete distribution chain, from beginning to the end and consists of distributors and vendors of virtual products and services. These may include mobile network, retail distributors, banks, independent merchants and distributors as well as other distributors and vendors. The TradeSwitch® Node Management component has an extensive offering of features like the management of billing periods, credit, stock levels and dealsheets (which are used to configure the commissions, discounts, charges and bonuses).
TradeSwitch® can also be used, by consumers, to purchase the required products or pay for the applicable services. It includes features like cash payments and deposits, the TradeSwitch® Wallet, the TradeSwitch® Prepaid Debit Card, the TradeSwitch® Smart Phone application and USSD transacting. These consumer services make it easy and convenient for consumers to get access to virtual goods and services in the palm of their hands.
TradeSwitch® manages the Prepaid Ecosystem holistically and caters for the needs of every player. It is the only stand-alone platform that can manage such a solution.