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Exploring Microfinance - One Dollar at a time

Dec 18 2018 by - Manasi Mulasi

over 2.7 billion people in the world live on $2 or less a day. they manage to put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads, plan for medical emergencies, and even save for retirement – how do they do it? – portfolios of the poor deals with such ideas and families who make it possible. penned by stuart rutherford, jonathan morduch, and daryl collins, the book well explains the condition of the poorest of the society. as bizarre as it may sound sitting in an air conditioned environment, a $2 bill is helping a full family survive through the day. this section of the society has seen it all, been a receiver of several aids and grants but still struggles with putting two square meals on their tables. considering such frugality of lives, the concept of micro finance was born. as the name suggests, it involves providing small credits to people from lower income groups. the concept was pioneered by muhammad yunus, who set up the grameen bank in the locales of bangladesh in 1970s on the principles of trust and solidarity. these essentially are the pillars of the entire microfinance industry.according to the world bank, the microfinance industry is currently estimated at $60 to $100 billion, with 200 million clients. while big enterprises are offering traditional loans, microcredit are becoming more popular than ever. initially, the concept of microfinance was prominent amongst the mfis, however banks with their ready infrastructure and customer outreach have a stronger chance of survival in this market.three billion people in the world do not have access to formal financial services delivering savings, loans, insurance, and remittances today.80% of the world population has no access to loans, while more than 5 million people have capability to do income-generating activities starting with small loans.more than 80 million people have benefited from services provided by more than 10 thousand mfis.the annual total of funds for microfinance activities has risen to usd 1 billion.let’s have a look at the primary benefits that microcredit has served:1. financial inclusionwith its target as the lower income group and small businesses, microfinance is primarily helping weave the society into one by including every section into the main strata. kenya for instance, which boasts 24 large mfis providing us $1.5 billion to approximately 1.5 million active borrowers. 2. easier loan repayment the loan repayment schedule for microfinance is usually lower and easier, therefore facilitating the borrower to repay conveniently. 3. encourages savingthe target groups of the microloans are usually focused upon catering to the present household needs and tend to spend the entire earning on sustenance. the concept of microloans stresses upon savings that ultimately facilitates the lender to save more, repay the loan and lead a more balanced lifestyle.  4. creating opportunitiesmicrofinance has been helping create much more small business owners in developing countries than the regular loans, hence generating several employment opportunities. with more people able to work and earn an income, the rest of the local economy also benefits because there are more revenues available to move through local businesses and service providers.5. possibilities of future investmentspoverty gives birth to several linked issues. lack of money gives rise to lack off food, water, sanitation and basic livelihood measures that prevents individual to get into a regular working environment. microfinance helps improve these conditions by circulating money into the market which lets families avail better livelihood conditions and creates further investments.  the future aheadafter the policy changes across the world financing facilities are becoming available on smartphones apart from being agent-driven. the concept of microfinance appeals to the lower earning groups primarily and hence agent-type facility is more dominant owing to the limited technical knowledge of this group. the need of the hour therefore is easily marketable products that are easy to understand for the agents spread across different geographies and further communicated to the customers.read alsomobile financial services: the convergence of telecoms and bankswhy is agency banking the silver bullet for financial inclusion?mobile operators, small financial institutions, mobile money operators and agent-managed networks are invading the microfinance sectors replacing traditional fis and banks. this is only possible due to the numerous technological innovations making financial services more affordable and accessible to the poor. providing solar lamps, creating bank accounts, ekycs, government subsidies and several such use cases are being managed currently and more of these will be catered to. additionally, due to widespread technical intervention the regulations are expected to lay out more stringent laws for customer data protection generating a transparent financial experience.     panamax’s microfinance solution automates the process of financial services like loans, savings etc. at small scale to individuals or groups with little or no income. the solution is capable of supporting the integration of third party content and is equipped with apis and development tools for deploying multiple value added services and to offer customers competitive benefits. the microfinance solution fine-tunes and adjusts existing processes and workflows as required. it is built to adapt to the changing business needs and can incorporate new products and business models easily. panamax’s mobile financial services have helped service providers, resellers and content providers around the world to evolve communications and finance solutions through technology innovations. 


Telecom Frauds Under a New Garb: How They Look Like Now?

Oct 30 2018 by - Mausam Kothari

telecom fraud continues to affect the business of mobile network service providers. all mnos and mvnos are susceptible to fraud, no matter what their size or where they are based. the major problem in preventing frauds is its continually changing nature, thereby making it increasingly difficult to identify the root cause. understanding the changing nature of frauds traditional telecom frauds were mainly focused on the services offered by telcos such as voice. fraudsters utilized these voice services to gain access to international dialing and attack voice revenue share services. however, with the rising trend of ip based calling systems and smartphone technology, the cost of international voice has dramatically reduced. advancements in technology has led to an onslaught of new types of telecom frauds. these tactics are complex in nature and make it difficult for telcos to track because of numerous layers of anonymity and its global nature. fraudsters are experts in learning new technology and they search for innovative ways to outwit service providers by finding out possibilities of invasion in the system. they are now misusing mobile technology and focusing their efforts towards attacking the end consumers directly. recently, it was observed that the revenue loss because of consumer based frauds such as account takeover or subscription, is higher than voice service fraud of irsf. growth of consumer frauds the rising number of consumer frauds is a critical issue in front of telcos today. what makes this issue worse is its complicated nature. depending on the type of consumer-based attack, telcos could either be the target of attack, mode or method of attack or even the source of attack.  one of the major reasons behind the tremendous rise in targeted frauds is the growth of smartphone technology. fraudsters get hold of high-end handsets through account takeover or subscription. in such cases, real identities are either stolen or utilized for opening new accounts. fraudsters may also use existing identities to add extra services in the contract without permission. after acquiring equipment through existing accounts, fraudsters manipulate the competitive marketplace by reselling it in the international market for higher value. these account takeover frauds where the existing account of customer is targeted have become more prevalent. one of the possible reasons for the growth of customer frauds is the simplicity to gain access to the existing accounts. telcos are always in an endeavor to serve their customers with the quickest and simplest way to access their accounts and add new devices or equipment in the existing contract. this is the major reason why fraudsters get easy access to customer’s account. they take advantage of flexibility and identify the weak points to drill into the customer’s account. with the rise of digitization, many service providers now use mobile phone as the point of contact for verification.  for example, in order to make payments or access sensitive information online, service providers usually send one-time password (otp) over text message or call. mobile account of customer is fundamental to authentication in several services sector, making them highly susceptible to attacks by fraudsters. overall impact of consumer frauds the number of traditional frauds that directly affect the telecom space is reduced, but at the same time there is unprecedented growth of consumer-based frauds. the impact and consequences of new nature of hacking are faced by the customers of the telecom company. though these attacks are not affecting the finance of telcos directly, they have a wider impact on the brand value. this poses a potential reputation risk for telcos and can lead to huge financial losses in the long run. managing frauds and mitigating risks spreading awareness of the vulnerabilities in telecom network is essential to alert users of the recent frauds. preventing frauds is possible with the combined efforts of telecom operators and consumers. first and the foremost measure is to purchase a solution with fraud management module from telcos. apart from having a fraud-proof solution, users should avoid being victimized by hackers by updating their system password from default to new, preferably a strong one that is difficult to crack.  do not forget to change passwords and pins of virtual extensions and voicemails, which is a big open door for access to hackers.    it is recommended to lock calls to international numbers, if not used on a daily basis. this prevents hackers from gaining access to the system and making a large number of calls to international or premium rate numbers.  it is also a good practice to check monthly bills in detail and identify suspicious calls to detect any fraud at an early stage. let’s fight against frauds together panamax believes that along with our business partners we can fight against fraud and make a safer virtual world. hackers are constantly in search of new ways to attack carriers and customers, so coming together and fighting against it is critical to prevention of frauds. we care about our customers and protect them from telecom frauds by offering highly secured solutions with near real-time fraud detection module. billcall is our business support system that provides fraud coverage to customers with its smart pattern rules, fraud tagging and alert engines. it provides monitoring and protection against handset fraud, dealer fraud, roaming fraud, high usage and subscription fraud. get in touch with experts at panamax to know how our solution can help provide secured virtual footprints for your customers. 


Why are Banks Investing in Mobile Financial Services Technology?

Jun 11 2018 by - Preety Paranjape

why are banks investing in mobile financial services technology? 2018 is the year of partnerships between banks and fintech firms. this year mobile technology will play a significant role in building an “inclusive cashless society” a few years ago, most of the banks would scoff when they were proposed a mobile financial services technology solution to reinvent their business - however, today things have changed. the reason behind this shift is the availability of secured and robust technology solutions. mature application of fintech solutions, strong api built architecture and use of blockchain technology, have changed the dynamics and led to a higher rollout of mobile financial services by banks. some reasons that have compelled banks to take the digital route are: mobile convergence: the immense adoption/usage of internet and mobile phones, and the convergence of mobile with highly secured and robust technology solutions for mobile banking have boosted the confidence of both banks and their customers alike. as a result, 2018 will see a boost in mobile banking in emerging markets. ease of banking at minimum opex:  access to mobile financial services reduces the dependency of customers on banks/bank staff for banking activities. also, banking processes become less time consuming and paperless. transaction costs drop down drastically when they shift from traditional to digital. according to pwc, a traditional bank transaction costs around $4, when this is done digitally an online transaction costs 9 cents and mobile transaction costs 19 cents. hybrid model business strategy: while some banks go completely branchless, banks in emerging markets prefer a hybrid business strategy. technology platforms that allow easy and secure customer onboarding, mobile wallet, mobile banking, agent banking and the facility to make merchant payments address all the needs of customers. besides, interactive, fast and an efficient digital experience is supplemented by personal bank interaction for complex products and services, thus customers get the best of both models. blockchain technology: blockchain is not just a technology that reduces the cost of transactions. it makes each transaction highly secure and eliminates the need for payment processors, custodians and reconciliation bodies. it keeps cybercriminals at bay and makes data manipulation impossible. api’s are pushing the boundaries: strong apis have fuelled the creation of highly digitized banking experience. building apis that support real-time payments is a top priority today. a strong api architecture allows banking services across various channels, thus add value to services. mature application of fintech: today's consumer is well-informed and demanding. banks are under pressure to provide banking at fingertips to this millennial customer. mature application of fintech, combined with the government support for digitization in both emerged and emerging markets has led to the culture of digital first for both banks and their customers.   technology partner advantage: all the above reasons have led banks to adopt mobile financial services model and go digital. however, the best part is that banks do not need to develop this technology themselves. they can simply partner with a mobile financial service technology provider and bring their bank to the customer on a mobile phone.


Why is Agency Banking the Silver Bullet for Financial Inclusion?

Apr 09 2018 by - Preety Paranjape

according to a report by the world bank, an estimated 2 billion adults worldwide don’t have a basic account.  governments across the world are focusing on expediting financial inclusion to eradicate poverty and provide economic stability to all. however, 59% of unbanked adults cite unavailability of affordable banking services as the key reason for not having an account. lack of banking services in rural areas or a tiresome documentation/onboarding processes are some other notable roadblocks.what is financial inclusion?financial inclusion is an effort to bring all people regardless of their income level into a formal economy. it is important that no person; however poor, remains excluded from this ecosystem.in developed urban locales, banks reach the customers by opening multiple branches and atms. however, opening a bank branch in rural/emerging markets requires high capex/opex – and the branch does not generate enough roi. it is one of the prime reasons why banks are not reaching the rural customers. it is difficult for a customer from the rural vicinity to operate a banking application and gain access to banking services on a mobile phone. so what is the alternative?in such a scenario, an agent led model for banking can be a low-cost/effective vehicle to include a largely unbanked/underbanked rural population into the banking ecosystem.why should banks adopt agency banking? the benefitsto include unbanked/underserved segment into the ecosystem and expand customer base profitablyto provide banking to a larger customer base at low servicing costs – just as they want itto simplify business processes and to enhance efficiencyto promote a cashless culture, and provide multiple products and payment facilities through a single agentbanks can lower the time to market for any new projects/services to their customer base within a small geographythe agent network can be easily expanded to reach out to more people as and when requiredhow can banks create an efficient network of agents, ensure optimum banking security and make banking easy for the rural customer?banks can partner with technology innovation experts to launch an agent banking network and take their banking services to places where a bank branch cannot reach. mobile financial solutions like mobifin are instrumental in setting up a branchless bank within the reach of potential customers. there is no need for complex infrastructure or a team of tailors, branch managers, and executives. an agent looks after all the banking needs.setup required? a smart android device with biometric capturing capabilities and a robust technology led agency banking solution to power the processes.sameer dashputre, fintech expert at panamax thinks that agency banking is the best way to catalyze financial inclusion by delivery of financial service profitability through a low transfer cost. he said “we have recently concluded a project in africa. we placed a state-of-art pos machine at every agent site, making it easy for our client, to onboard customers and capture all information seamlessly. once the kyc is done, the customer can transfer, deposit and withdraw cash from his/her account – hassle-free. for this he need not travel to a bank branch in the city, he can just visit the agent in his town, and get all the banking facilities he needs.” “the world bank group in october 2013 postulated the global goal of universal access to basic transaction services as an important milestone toward full financial inclusion—a world where everyone has access and can use the financial services he or she needs to capture opportunities and reduce vulnerability (world bank 2013b).”apart from bringing the bank branch near to the customer, the transaction fees are also nominal. with the help of an agent, a person who has never carried out any banking transactions can do so with ease.this initiative is a great step to empower women and include them in the financial ecosystem too. in most of the developed countries, it is not possible for single mothers, pregnant ladies, and women who are senior citizens to walk down to a branch in some other city and carry out banking. what can be a better way to keep their money secure and allow them to be in charge of their own money than to provide them an agency banking facility next door?as a majority of the unbanked/underbanked population takes up agency banking and gets included into the financial ecosystem, it will not only affect them on a personal level but also lead to the country’s economic and social development.are you a bank?if you wish to ‘go branchless’ and take your banking services to the remotest corner at negligible capex/opex – contact our agency banking expert.


6 Tips for Telecom Companies to Excel the Mobile Money Market

Mar 06 2018 by - Manasi Mulasi

the global economic environment headed into 2018 is about “as good as it gets,” says goldman sachs research’s chief economist jan hatzius. he believes that the global growth will reach 4% next year, thanks to development across the developed and emerging markets. technology and particularly mobile technology is on an upward trajectory for a while now. according to the annual gsma report, at the end of 2016 there were more than half a billion registered mobile money accounts available across 277 live services in 92 countries. today, mobile money reaches approximately 66 percent of low and middle-income markets. developing countries have been major contributors to the popularity and customer base of mobile money. this upward trend has left the telecommunication companies asking for more. for telcos, it’s not only about calls or even the data, it encircles much more in order to stay relevant in the busy marketplace.here we will talk about the measures the telecom companies should undertake to ensure they are not lost in the increasing competition between the numerous mobile wallets today. securityundoubtedly the foremost factor any user looks for when making a financial transaction. for mobile money to further gain momentum, the providers must focus on security and setting up a robust ecosystem. a secure integrated electronic payment infrastructure adds to the competitive advantage for the operators looking to be a market leader. innovationinnovation is the backbone of any successful business and mobile wallet solutions are no exception. today there are no dearth of mobile wallet solutions across the world. what sets you apart? that is the big question. are you able to offer a unique service for your market? are you offering the best-in-class ui? or is it your top-notch service? you have to be a pioneer in one aspect or the other to be a game changer. panamax focuses on innovation and that forms the foundation for any product formulation. while remittances have mostly been synonymous with money, panamax’s mobifin provides efficient remittance services for airtime, gift cards and even goods making it a pioneer in the domain.  customer engagementengaging in new ways with a widening set of ecosystem partners and stakeholders is essential to ensure that value chains are incentivized. this isn’t restricted to the customer engagement but includes the merchants and vendors which in turn enhances the experience for the end user.campaign manager is a popular module provided by mobifin. this platform allows the banks and fintech companies to increase penetration of digital financial services by orchestrating a unified omni-channel delivery of complex marketing campaigns. wider service offeringthe story does not end once your product is sold, impeccable service is what completes a product cycle. it is important to keep a tab on maintaining a fresh portfolio of offering and upbeat services. however, while highlight the relevance of new services it must be ensured that privacy and security credentials are not compromised.financial inclusiontraditional banking has been restrictive to several sections of the society. the reasons may range from accessibility, literacy or sheer ignorance, but the fact remains that a large chunk of population is still devoid of benefits of banking. mobile banking has filled this gap and can be referred to as the flag-bearer when it comes to financial inclusion. it therefore becomes imperative for the operators to consider every strata of users in their offering. this should be evident in not only the product offerings but also the interface and services. operators should include a greater range of financial services while also combining payments with related functionalities in location-sensitive marketing and advertising for consumers, businesses and partners alike.microcredit services from panamax’s mobifin - integrated & modular mobile finance solution, focus on providing services in order to facilitate financial inclusion. with mobifin, banks and telcos can create, manage and deliver instant unsecured microcredit products to large diversified segmented consumers based on self-service and assisted model.  utilizing customer base most major telecom companies have been in the business for a couple of decades now and have managed to establish a considerably large customer base. this number is the biggest strength for the companies and if utilized with structural planning, can prove to be the biggest strength.


Are Your Mobile Finance Solutions Compatible with Mobile Payment Trends 2018?

Feb 13 2018 by - Nitisha Jain

with mobile finance solutions becoming increasingly popular across the world, the conventional landscape of the consumer payments market is transforming completely at a rapid pace. smartphones are playing a vital role in the lives of consumers everywhere (according to newzoo’s global mobile market report, nearly one-third of the world’s population will use smartphone this year). the mobile app market is continue to expand, which brings with it an entirely new range of alternatives to the conventional payment methods of goods and services.the payment options today are no longer limited to cash or debit/credit cards. with the raging popularity of mobile apps, mwallets such as visa checkout, android pay, apple pay, paypal, and others have caused a huge shift in the way consumers think of making purchases.people today are not only using mobile financial solutions for making payments on a regular basis, but are also more inclined towards these options over the traditional ones like swiping out a debit/credit card or entering their bank details on the web. to match the pace with this revolutionary consumer behaviour, merchants and retailers who are looking to succeed in the next phase of digital or mobile commerce should pay keen attention to which mobile finance solutions their consumers are expecting.let’s have a look at mobile payment trends in 2018safer data while making mobile/online paymentsthe way we pay for goods and services is changing. e-commerce & m-commerce methods like in-app and one-click order are becoming more popular. also, the exponential growth of the iot is presenting an array of new payment use-cases, like the connected cars. retailers and merchants today must deliver improved and varied payment options in a challenging security landscape. read also - mobile financial services: the convergence of telecoms and banksfaster paymentsit is not only that card-based payments are evolving but also the account-to-account transactions like utility bills, salaries, and subscriptions are growing very rapidly. but these transactions still take a time span of multiple days to clear and settle, which something of a throwback is. in real-time transactions, funds must transfer in seconds and offer flexibility and convenience to banks and consumers both.better experiencesretailers today must utilize mobile wallets as a platform to deliver significant value-added services (vas) that consumers can use seamlessly. consumers are enthusiast about vas, but the involved complexities in redeeming points or activating coupons defer payments made using mobile financial solutions. by simplifying their vas offerings within the wallet, retailers can gain consumer loyalty, and can get ahead in the competition while driving great sales. mobile finance solutions offer merchants and retailers with the ability to get closer to their customers than ever before. the scope of marketing is in leveraging leading artificial intelligence (ai) techniques to deliver state-of-the-art solutions and for one-to-one interactions with customers. a digital wallet offering put retailers in the prime position to leverage the changing consumer behaviour and trends to offer personalized experiences.


International Remittances - Connecting Nations

Jan 08 2018 by - Manasi Mulasi

be it a monthly expense to ageing parents from a child from a big country, or the higher education expenses to a child in developed country. international remittances have existed ever since people have started moving to different countries, albeit the forms have changed over time. the number of expats in different countries are at an all-time high, thanks to the booming economies and world turning into a global village. according to world bank, by 2016 more than 250 million people or 3.4% of the world population lived outside their country of birth. this has resulted into a record inflow of remittance taking place between nations. by 2015, approximately $601 billion in usd was transferred between countries, $441 billion of which was received by developing countries. the countries receiving the largest share of remittances are china and india, making asia the highest remittance receiving continent. according to 2015 estimates, india and china received $72.2 and $63.9 billion dollars respectively. remittances also make a sizeable part of the gdp for certain countries majorly the small and developing countries like tajikistan and kyrgyzstan. have a look at the incoming and outgoing remittances across the world herealthough remittances hold crucial value in the economy of smaller countries, they are not entirely a sanctity. in recent times, there is an increment in the number of incidents involving money laundering or terror funding which can be directly linked to the ease of remittances. to keep a tab on such issues, the costs associated with international remittance has gone up which has affected the companies facilitating remittance and the people who use the services. nonetheless, microsoft co-founder and remittance regulation activist bill gates has mentioned that if remittance costs were cut in half, an extra $15 billion a year would be available for countries in the developing world. according to a 2010 survey of central banks of several countries, it was established that not all countries report the remittance data in a globally accepted format and miss out on details around remittance flows via money transfer operators, post offices or local money lenders.  how does it work?remittance through banks directlybanks offer direct transfer of money to other bank accounts. this can be done both online or offline. the rates charged by banks are subjective to the respective bank while the time frame involved is typically 3-5 days.remittance through bitcoinsbitcoin is the latest rage in the financial world and also a preferred medium for fund transfer across borders. while some may argue about the liquidity of the cryptocurrency lately, there’s no denying that bitcoin holds a high position in the financial market. bitcoin has been blamed for higher rates during international remittances. this is primarily due to the two stages involved in converting bitcoin to source and target currencies. read also - story of bitcoin – the other kind of moneyremittance through money transfer servicesseveral companies like western union, money-gram, etc. offer exclusive remittance services but they too come with a hefty price tag. the time required to make the transfer is comparatively lower which makes it a preferred medium among the users.  remittance through mobile walletsa popular way to transfer funds, mobile wallets too allow international remittances. due to the constantly growing prevalence of cashless transactions, the number of mobile wallets is on an upward trajectory. it only makes sense to include remittance as a service here. since the medium is already popular, additional services for remitting money does not involve any extra operational cost. with remittance being into spotlight, panamax’s e-wallet platform mobifin recently came up with an upgraded version which offers both advanced international and domestic remittance services. apart from the exquisite real-time remittance services, mobifin acts as an all-inclusive wallet which facilitates international remittance of bitcoin along with bitcoin buying and selling. both the fiat and bitcoin wallet can be maintained on the mobifin platform with ease. mobifin also conveniently interfaces with multiple exchanges to pick the best rate while buying and selling the bitcoins. why restrict to just money transfer? mobifin also allows sending goods to the near and dear ones internationally in the form of vouchers.  mobifin remittance solution allows rolling out the domestic and international remittance service through a cost effective, cashless model. this solution can be easily integrated with global remittance providers like money-gram, western union, ria etc. the solution also allows full traceability and transparency with built-in kyc and anti-money laundering features to meet regulatory requirements.case studiesmobifin optimized vps tanzania limited's business processcashless africa


Blockchain-Chaining the Blocks of Telcos

Dec 21 2017 by - Anil Das

blockchain - enabling real-time revenue sharing between roaming partners.the blockchain infrastructure has the potential for instant value transfer, reconciliation and settlement of cryptographically secured transactions through smart contracts between all parties involved.let me put forward one of the compelling economic use-case in telecom roaming billing and settlement which shows the true potential of "decentralization and disintermediation" capability of blockchain.before we move to the use case, let us try to first understand abbreviations used in this article.hpmn: the home public mobile network is the network from the operator by which a mobile subscriber has a subscription.vpmn: the visited public mobile network is the network used by a mobile subscriber while roaming.tap: transferred accounts procedure (tap) is the procedure that allows vpmn to provide billing records of roaming subscribers to their respective hpmn.rap: returned accounts procedure (rap) defines the format for returning information on errors found within transferred tap files/events.dch: data clearing houses are external bodies interface between different roaming partners to help them to exchange their cdrs, setting up roaming agreements and resolving any dispute.nrtrde: near real time roaming data exchange (nrtrde) is cdr interchange to monitor customers’ activities in the vpmn networks.cdr: call data record.as-is business process: billing and settlement between the roaming partners.below diagram depicts flow for exchanging roaming billing records (of a mobile roamer) between two roaming partners.let us understand the series of event depicted in above diagram:1: vpmn rates the call and event records for subscriber of home network who visited into foreign network.2: vpmn create tap(out) file based gsm standards and sends to dch based on agreed frequency and within number of files specified by standard.3: dch validates the tap(out) files and generates the rap(in) files, sends to vpmn if there is errors found in the tap(out) files as per the agreement.4: vpmn also send the nrtrde files to dch for monitoring subscriber activities in visitor network.5: dch sends the tap(in) files to hpmn to rate the subscriber for using the foreign network services.6: hpmn validates the tap(in) files and generates rap(out) files , sends to dch if there is errors found in the tap(in) files as per the agreement.7: dch also send the nrtrde files received in step-4 to hpmn dch for monitoring subscriber activities in visitor network.disadvantages of offline transfer account procedure:1: both hpmn and vpmn has to pay hefty fees to dch as central authority to execute the contract for roaming services.2: roaming rated cdr being exchanged in terms of tap files in offline mode.3: there is high chances of disputes being raised between vpmn and hpmn since the exchange of billing records are offline.4: the dispute resolution process is also offline executed by dch by validating the cdrs and contracts of both the partners.5: the offline process of tap leads to delay in billing and hence revenue sharing among the roaming partners.block chain alternative solution:a permissioned blockchain could be implemented between every pair of operators which have a roaming agreement. let us understand the series of event in above diagram:1 : every time a subscriber triggers an event in a visiting network, the vpmn broadcasts the cdr information as a transaction to the hpmn.2: designated nodes from both operators act as miners to verify the sanctity of each transaction broadcasted on the network as per the roaming agreement.3: the roaming agreement is implemented between the hpmn and the vpmn as a smart contract that is triggered when a transaction containing the cdr data is broadcasted on the blockchain network.there could be several contracts on the network each representing function to be implemented.    * validation of cdr sent by vpmn to hpmn based on defined agreement.    * early detection of fraud by monitoring services used in vpmn based on agreement.    * inter operator tariff application/validation of usage in vpmn.after all the contracts have been executed and the charge for that call/usage has been computed, the final output is sent as a transaction to the hpmn.4: the hpmn can thus automatically initiate the transaction to pay the charges for the services rendered and pay that particular transaction ( in real time or on scheduled frequency) to the vpmn.advantages of near-real-time blockchain transactions:1: the instantaneous settlement using blockchain-based smart contract takes away the offline billing information exchange between roaming partners through dch.2: csps can also do away with the dch acting as middleman, resulting in further cost savings.3: automatic triggering of roaming contract based on call/event data which enables near-instantaneous charging and reduction in roaming fraud.4: repository of verifiable transactions between operators, allowing for quick dispute resolution.5: this blockchain based implementation can be scaled to any number of partners and any number of contracts between the partners.what could be other advantages of this blockchain based implementation ?what do you think about the feasibility of this application ?let me know your view on above questions... happy reading!!!source: linkedin pulse


Session Border Controller for a Secure and Improved Communications Network

Dec 05 2017 by - Preety Paranjape

the competition is intense, arpu (average revenue per customer) is declining, and technology is evolving each day. service providers are now rethinking their business models and are in search of innovative ways to gain mileage commercially.these service providers are looking for sip trunking, 4g roaming, ims/volte services, etc. and are moving termination services to an all ip interconnection. in this scenario, a session border controller plays a pivotal role.what is a session border controller?a session border controller is deployed in voip networks; it regulates the ip communication sessions and all types of real-time communications like voip, ip video, text messages and other collaboration sessions.out of the many reasons to deploy an sbc, security, interoperability and quality of service are the important roles played by an sbc. other than these, migration to another network or infrastructure is also made easy by session border controller.let us discuss this in detail.• securitythere are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the use of sbc in peer to peer communication. some defy the concept of sbc because they think that sbc lengthens the media paths and slows down communication. however, a session border is crucial because it protects voip networks from malicious activities. while a firewall only controls network data, sbc focuses on scanning and regulating sip enabled traffic and audio/video streams. sbc offers a stricter protection and fortifies your network to prevent eavesdropping, identity theft, and ensures fair usage of resources by protecting over usage and pattern based blacklist/whitelist of customers.• interoperabilitya session border controller is an excellent way of ensuring that sips work smoothly with one another. now one may argue that when there is gateway why use sbc? gateway does the job of voice transcoding efficiently. the answer to this is that, while gateway provides conversion between a circuit session and a packet switched network, sbc works as a border between two packet-based networks. sbc has the expertise to provide interoperability function from network layer to application layer and enable communication between heterogeneous end points/peers.• quality of service an sbc implements the qos policy for a network and handles the prioritization of calls. this means that an sbc defines and monitors the quality of service (qos) status for all sessions and can prioritize emergency calls above others using functions like traffic policing, resource allocation, rate limiting, call admission control, tos/dscp bit setting, etc. sbc also helps in routing calls to the best quality destination and enables call handover process between access networks whenever the call quality drops below some threshold. the call priorities are not set based on the whims of managers for voice, data or communication, instead, the quality of service profiles are configured and marked on the data path - impartial decisions are taken by sbc.• migrationyou may need help for migrating to a sip-enabled unified communication infrastructure, need interoperability with a different ip-pbx solution or have a co-existence scenario. in any case, an sbc provides translation, and allows unabridged communication during the transition period and beyond.the emergence of sip as the preferred signaling protocol!many service providers are now offering sip trunking solutions because enterprises are increasingly migrating to a sip-enabled unified communication infrastructure. sip has emerged as the preferred signaling protocol for ip communications. it is a cost-effective and a flexible alternative to the conventional circuits. it not only reduces expenses but also eliminates vendor lock-ins and offers wider choice in provisioning users.an sbc enables secure sip trunking, consolidated voip and uc networks, allows access to cloud and hosted ip communications services and provides higher security for communication across ip contact centers, remote work locations, and branch offices. thus security, interoperability, migration, call quality control and media policy enforcements are some reasons that make the use of sbc inevitable.next generation session border controllers provide robust security and simplified interoperability to service providers. they deliver great service quality for applications like sip trunking and unified multimedia communications. for more information on sip trunking and unified communications solutions by panamax. 


PSD2 brings Innovation by Challenging Traditional Banking

Sep 14 2017 by - Rohit Sanghani

what is psd2? eu second payment services directive (psd2) has been a focal point for the financial services industry over the last couple of years and its adoption is set to modernize the payment ecosystem in europe. new entrants, innovative technologies and increased regulation are already posing major challenges to traditional banks as they need to do more than ever before to retain their revenue streams, meet growing customer expectations and counter the erosion of their competitive edge. psd2 calls for banks to open their data infrastructure to third parties (aisp – account initiation service provider or pisp- payment initiation service provider) so that the latter can provide better products and payment services to customers. this is unprecedented and many traditional banks perceive psd2 to be disruptive, but in fact these new payment offerings have been sprouting for quite some time, powered by the fintech industry. what are the challenges to traditional banking? opening up an api to 3rd party (aisp – account initiation service provider or pisp- payment initiation service provider) is a great challenge for banks as it might pose concerns around security and personalization of customer data. one big challenge for bank it teams is that their central applications were not designed with api access in mind. for legacy applications – often based on mainframes – adding api access directly into these systems would be expensive, risky and involve all sorts of unknown scalability issues. re-engineering applications with api support is possible, but increasing the amount of hardware infrastructure to provide these capabilities represents an expensive way to add this functionality. it also does not deal with the fact that most customer data is spread across multiple silos associated with different accounts. the right solution will surface the way for engagement with both internal and external developers, business insights, analytics, security, and protection. this means it has never been more essential for banks to offer their customers digital products and services that are effective and delightful. banks that fail to act on big shifts like psd2 will lose the primary relationship with clever start-ups, or even worse: to other banks. either way, they lose, and are reduced to playing a backstage role at best. means of innovation for bank banks that are capable of innovating and executing promptly, have the potential to deliver great new products and services, and become a one-stop finance shop to enrich their omni-channel banking experience. the new regulation represents an opportunity for banks to partner with fintech companies and third party providers (3pp) to bring synergy that welcomes change and innovation which will eventually enhance the customer relationship with banks from monthly chores to weekly or even daily meaningful dialog. banks can take advantage of this regulation to provide their best customer experience by launching new product and services. they can also monetize the api economy by developing a data strategy. interestingly, the payments segment has arguably led the charge in adoption of the api economy in financial services. stripe, recently valued at $1.75 billion, is a payments provider that has api integration as the core component of its business model. it provides a payments infrastructure that is accessed through api calls and is used by household brands in emerged markets. the api economy has become very profitable for some firms and many commentators and analysts see the profitability accelerating. salesforce.com, for example, generates half of its usd 2.3 billion annual revenue through its apis. analysts estimate that the api economy will become a usd 2.2 trillion market by 2018 and that during the next two to three years, the number of enterprises having an api program could rise by 150%. psd2, with its widespread scope, is regarded as establishing a baseline for the future of banking, rather than being a mere regulatory piece. it is a game-changing initiative that will bring along numerous opportunities to facilitate access to payments and help deliver a better customer experience. psd2 could be transposed into national law by member states before 13 january 2018, which means that the legal provisions will apply from this date. the next five or so months will be challenging for businesses as they navigate their way towards psd2 compliance. panamax mobifin solution helps financial organizations in many areas including data management, advanced analytics, behavioral profiling, and customer intelligence.


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