Onebip Smart billing features for subscriptions

Tips of the month

Editor’s note: This is part of a monthly blog series by Gokmen Atak, Onebip’s Product Offer & Quality Specialist.  Gokmen aims to share his “Tips of the month” which includes product features and updates that Onebip partners can take advantage of to improve their mobile payment offering.  Please feel free to add your comments at the end of the post.

We often think about “smart billing” as a concept of maximizing the billing success rate for subscription transactions. A subscription transaction could either be for the “activation” or for the “renewal” of a subscription service. Some players in the market do offer optimized systems that mainly focus on increasing the success rate for renewals by applying retry logic but, none of them offer features such as “Split billing” or “Pending user billing” which Onebip’s subscription engine uses to maximize the success rate of an “activation” and “renewal” transaction. Let me explain them a little bit more.

Split Billing

What I’ve seen that’s traditionally used to increase the success of a renewal transaction is the optimization of the retry logic for example, defining the amount of retries (i.e. 3 times a day), the retry periods (Monday, Wednesday, 16th of the month) or even timing of the retries (i.e. at 3 pm, 6 pm, 10 am) and so on. The list is long.

But, what’s not used is a logic that will secure the success of a renewal transaction. At Onebip we call it “Split Billing” and we have already introduced this logic in our subscription engine and successfully used it with our partners. The logic behind it is to “split” the total amount into different quantities that the user is most likely to have in his or her mobile phone credit balance or “split” the amount into several quantities until you find the mobile phone credit is acceptable enough to renew the subscription service. Here’s an example: for a 4,99 renewal transaction we can apply a retry logic of 2,99 on the first retrial -> 1,00 on the second retrial -> 1,00 on the third retrial or 1,00 on the first retrial -> 1,00 on the second retrial -> 2,99 on the third retrial based on the probability of the success rate with different timings between each retry. Onebip can apply “Split Billing” logic for both PSMS and Direct Carrier Billing.

Pending Users Billing

Imagine you’re a merchant and you have a customer who would like to activate a subscription service but does not have enough balance at that moment in his or her mobile phone. What would you do? Would you tell the user that they can’t subscribe to the service and to try again later or would you prefer to tell them that the request has been taken and as soon as they have enough balance in their mobile phone the subscription will be activated? This last scenario is known as the management of “Pending Users Billing”. In other words if the activation attempt of the user is not successful because of any kind of error, but mostly because of insufficient balance, the request is reserved, put into the pending billing status, retried and the subscription service is activated once the user has enough mobile phone credit. Onebip is able to apply “Pending Users Billing” logic both for PSMS and Direct Carrier Billing.

The two smart billing features I explained above requires very deep market knowledge and very advanced technology with a powerful engine behind it. First of all, you have to know what optimizations you’re allowed to do in each market to maximize the success rate without breaching carrier policies and premium rate service regulations in each market. Secondly, you have to know the market characteristics very well so that you can apply the best logic behind these features. Thanks to Onebip’s strong experience of managing subscriptions for top online dating and social networking sites for the last five years, we can provide our partners with these advanced features while reducing the risk of service interruption to a minimum. Lastly, the technology is vital. Logic without an advanced subscription engine will be obsolete!  Once again, we’ve got a powerful subscription engine that can support this logic.

Last but not least, in the following months we will introduce our smart billing concepts also for one-time payments so stay tuned!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the features above or would like to start using it for your subscription services, please speak to your Onebip account manager or contact us on

By Gokmen Atak, Onebip Product Offer and Quality Specialist