Tuesday, September 7, 2010

3rd Party Landline Billing

Lot’s of press these days…some good, some bad on landline phone billing as a payment option for digital merchants. Let’s face it, in today’s recessionary economy, credit is getting tighter and tighter…banks are lowering credit limits and raising interest rates on credit cards. Maybe our parents had it right…my father once said ”Dave, whenever possible, don’t use credit…it only gets you in trouble. If you can’t afford to pay for it, you don’t need it”.

More and more, today’s consumers are looking for alternate methods to pay for their purchases. This has led to the onslaught of new payment options, from Paypal, to pre-paid subscription cards, to Google checkout, to Amazon Payments, and yes, Bill to Landline.

One common factor in all these alternatives other than Bill to Landline is that they all ultimately refer back a credit or debit card provided to the processing company. While Paypal, Google, and Amazon all deal with the consumer settlements for the merchants, the funds are still ultimately under control of Mastercard, Visa, or AMEX.

Bill to Landline is the only true alternative giving the consumer the option to purchase a digital good WITHOUT the use of some type of credit card. Merchants that use Bill to Landline must go through an extremely thorough background review, including company and officer background and fraud checks, marketing material reviews, sales and sales verification script reviews, post-sales confirmation reviews, and customer service policy reviews.

I know, you might ask “Can an unscrupulous merchant sneak through the approval process and cause bad social media reviews for a Bill to Landline company?”

Unfortunately, as it is with all the other methods, the answer is “yes”. It happens. Not all people are trustworthy and occasional a bad merchant might sneak through and cause bad press for the billing company. Today, please be assured that the billing companies are working hard through social media monitoring and engagement to deal with these issues as quickly as possible and to shut down any merchant found to be in violation of their set of standard billing & practices policies, up to and including issuing refunds to the consumer on services and goods not received or not properly authorized.

That aside, the Bill to Landline service offers a great revenue stream to merchants, helping to capture a sale from a consumer who otherwise would have left the checkout page without ever purchasing the digital good.

To find out how Bill to Landline can help grow revenues for your e-commerce company, please contact me at dave.hanron@ildmail.com

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