SMS Long Codes are another, sometimes forgotten about option alongside the more commonly known SMS Short Codes.

The advantages of using SMS Long Codes

When using an SMS Long Code, service providers can benefit from a range of USP’S. The main 3 advantages have been highlighted below:

  • Long Codes are cheaper than Short Codes (Dedicated short codes).
  • Long Codes are faster to set up (if Dedicated). No forms to fill out and immediate allocation.
  • Long Codes are able to work internationally. Short Codes are restricted to the country they are set up.

SMS Long Codes cannot be used to facilitate any type of billing. i.e. Premium SMS. This relies on Short Codes to complete this Mobile Billing transaction.

SMS Long Codes V’s Virtual SIM

There are of course other options as well to consider. Say you wanted a specific number for your Long Code, then you could consider a Virtual SIM set up. A Virtual SIM is a hosted SIM set up in a mobile data centre that can act like a Long Code to receive SMS messages. This also works internationally and is a good option for those that have SIM’s they wish to host.

Long Codes and SIM Hosting are similar options. Long Codes can handle more volumes than a Hosted SIM, however the allocation of the number by the mobile networks is often random. It’s not also guaranteed to get your desired number for obvious reasons.

At txtNation we have many clients that work with SMS Long Codes and Virtual SIM solutions to enable SMS interaction. You can of course hook up an API to reply back to the incoming SMS messages, via a Bulk SMS Gateway account to make the interaction two-way.

If you are looking for a one-way or two way SMS option, you should not discount Long Codes if running Non-Premium, Standard Rate services.

Read more on SMS Long Codes.

Author: Michael Whelan

Payforit is gaining more and more traction as a mobile billing option for merchants, both on-line and on-mobile.

Payforit 4 Release

With the new release of Payforit version 4, there are many significant improvements that will help both merchants and consumers.

With it’s clear pricing and its improved ease of use there is much potential for Payforit version 4, in the UK.

Payforit 4 New Features

Several new features will be released May 15th, that include:

- Improved Payment Screens
Clean look and feel with improved design for more conversions.

- Single Click Billing
Payforit now allows for repeat user billing to be done with ease.

- Support for Payforit 4
Payforit works with regulators and merchants support in mind.

- HTML5 Payforit Payments
Payforit now offers a suitable sized payment screen for the type of browser or app.

The comparisons and debate of Premium SMS V’s Payforit will continue long into the future. At txtNation, we believe both mobile biling options will be co-exist depending on the service or application type.

Further Reading:
View our Payforit API.
Check out out page on how to connect to Payforit!

Brochure:

txtNation Payforit UK

From the Mobile Entertainment Forum, a new study was released based on survey results from more than 8,000 mobile consumers across 9 countries. MEF’s global study highlights how many customers prefer mobile billing than other alternative methods of payment.

How many customers prefer Mobile Billing?

82% of respondents across all countries surveyed have used their mobile phone to engage in commerce, to either research or purchase items, while 71% have used their mobile phone to make purchases of everything from virtual and digital goods to physical tickets, books, and electronic goods.

Mobile Billing

Direct Operator Billing Acceptance

The MEF data shows that mobile operator billing is, in fact, the most commonly used way of paying for purchases, with roughly 39% of respondents using this method.

Direct Operator Billing

* Source: MEF Global Consumer Survey 2011. Base = 8,530 respondents across 9 countries who have participated in mobile commerce.

What is life like at txtNation?, a leading Mobile Aggregator and SMS Gateway.

Being a Mobile Aggregator ‘means you have direct connections to mobile operators’. i.e. ‘tier-one’. This is where txtNation sit in the value chain.

Most service providers connect to companies like txtNation for their Mobile Billing and Messaging, choosing us as we have these relationships with the telco’s formed and developed.

From these direct mobile operator connections, we can leverage our connectivity and offerings to all service providers. We pride ourselves on having a great reputation – being rock solid technically, reliable, offering good support and enabling high throughput and providing complete financial transparency.

txtNation process millions of messages each month with the majority of billing and messaging traffic running via our direct connections.

We move towards being more of a global mobile aggregator – working in multiple key markets and are situating ourselves as an aggregator and SMS gateway that enables business to Mobile Billing and SMS messaging services via a wide range of connectivity options and API’s.

Day to Day life at txtNation. Leading Mobile Aggregator.

txtNation, day to day runs like clockwork – example duties include supporting all of our clients (service providers) to enable growth, providing up to the minute transactions and financial information and breakdowns – backed up by an accounting team that works tirelessly to ensure payouts and reconciliation. Support that works 24.7 and enables new market and technical opportunities.

Adam Williams, txtNation Network Co-Ordinator quotes, “The best thing about txtNation? No single day is the same. Our industry is so fluid and so varied; a new challenge is always just around the corner. As an multi-national business, we work with many different cultures and discover new opportunities every day.”

txtNation provide industry experienced Account Managers that you can contact to discuss any issues or plans for your services – they are even available to bounce ideas off!

Liam James, txtNation Account Manager quotes, “Life at txtNation is both rewarding and challenging. Day to day the industry moves and as it moves, so do txtNation!”

Expanding our coverage as a Mobile Aggregator.

txtNation are now listed in the top 10 global mobile aggregators for global reach – encompassing coverage and connectivity. Support is present in multiple markets with localised offices that support local languages. txtNation support and enable the following services via our Direct Operator Connections:

Mobile Billing:
Premium SMS
Payforit
• Short-Codes for Mobile Billing
Direct Operator Billing

Messaging:
• Short-Codes for Standard Rate SMS (Non-Premium SMS)
Bulk SMS
• HLR Lookup

Author: Michael Whelan

Payforit. Is it really everything the networks hoped for and more?

A lot of people still remain unconvinced on Payforit in the UK market. Mainly due to one simple and easy to understand reason – conversions!!

As time has moved on since the first PFI UK release, much has changed, the most notiable is the call to action getting better and more streamlined as subseqent Payforit versions have been released over the years – it’s not surprising that so has conversion rate improved!

At txtNation we have seen a rise of up to 15 per cent on conversion rates compared to short codes (when its used on Mobile Sites – Payforit for WAP).

Payforit was in development for several years years lets not forget and I think that now we are at a stage and timeline where there is a clear user interface and single click payment method that will be a success and consumers will learn to trust.

For me where Payforit truly excels is in the fact that it can immediately open up a marketing channel, almost overnight -Payforit’s MSISDN forwarding or pass-through, facilitates increased billing – It’s that simple. The other improvement is in customer care. Payforit has improved pricing transparency at the point of purchase and also when the mobile payment is confirmed.

Payforit for everyone

Direct Operator Billing as its is in some other countries is not currently possible in the UK. What is very clear when working with the telco’s daily – is the ‘back-end’ for PayForIt is Direct Billing using a operator approved, customer friendly and secure, branded ‘front end’.

Payforit from the customers point of view

Good news for the customer. One click payments!? No shortcode need to be remembered any more and the possibility of fraud is therefore greatly reduced. Customers also need not register! Collaboration and a session with their mobile network operator provides all they need to purchase. No entering credit card details. Simple, anonymous purchases!
any more Finally as we all know, consistency counts! Consistent payment pages from step one of the PFI process instil confidence.

Of course, all these things can still be achieved using Premium SMS of course with Web Opt-in (pin) now possible again via several 3rd party approved PIN suppliers in the UK.

The choice for digital service providers in the UK market in terms of ‘mobile operator backed’ billing, is between Premium SMS using an MO opt-in, Web Opt-in (PIN) and Payforit UK.

Find out more about txtNation contact us at http://txtnation.com/about/call/. Connect to txtNation, providing PayForIt, across all Uk mobile networks.

Author: Michael Whelan

Why is throughput so important for an SMS Gateway.

Being an SMS Gateway provider means two things, you can enable business send SMS messages and secondly, receive SMS messages. An SMS gateway provider is also connected directly to the networks. Added to this is the growing need to deliver mobile sms billing transactions (aka Premium SMS Billing). All from one company.

txtNation have served both solutions for the last several years now and we will continue to build upon the success we have had in this area. txtNation have expanded as an SMS aggregator with more direct connections to mobile network operators (we are contractually connected to mobile operators for delivery of high throughput SMS messaging), introducing new technologies including updating our flagship SMSC gateway and local support where possible.

Over recent months we have noticed even more the level of clients that need to send bursts of SMS messages in a short period of time. Originally txtNation services had been built and deployed on the basis of being a SMS Billing aggregator. That is to say on a Premium SMS basis, meaning one in on out messaging, within a fast period of time.

sms gateway

Speed improvements of our SMS Gateway

However more recently we have improved our throughput to over several thousand SMS per second. This means bigger brands and a better SLA!

What does this mean?

It means no bottlenecks for mobile campaigns and mission critical messages get sent and delivered first time.

It amazes me how many companies claim to be a tier one SMS aggregator with top notch SMS gateway sending abilities and let service providers down time and time again. I know this as we get these companies contact us after being let down from other Bulk SMS providers and so called SMS aggregators.

Please download our brochure on how we match up as an SMS Gateway provider:

http://www.txtnation.com/brochures/Solutions/mBILL/mBILL_How_We_Match_Up.pdf

Author: Michael Whelan

Find out more about txtNation contact us at http://txtnation.com/about/call/. Connect to txtNation, providing the leading SMS Gateway, worldwide.

It seems the one thing that SMS mobile payment and bulk sms aggregators do well is the actual billing or sending of the messages. Well granted this is the model, right? and that’s that then? Well no. Read on.

What I find staggering is still, years on in this industry neither testing or support has evolved to match the service providers needs. I don’t want to write here about why the support at txtNation has gone down a raving success, but tied into this, is what I do want to focus on – testing and debugging.

Why SMS testing?

SMS testing for free (non-premium) or billing at an MO or MT level, is something that service providers need to get better at. At txtNation we have recently released a clear and obvious package structure, put in place for the delivery of real time testing in multiple markets around the world.

txtNation testing has the following immediate advantages:

  • Easy to set up and test (works with existing API integration).
  • Works for premium (billed) and non-premium (free) testing.
  • Massive coverage, worldwide testing available.
  • Simple, easy to use options combining both emulation and real testing.
  • Fast, Real-Time, no waiting for days for a test.

SMS Billing or Bulk SMS has always been reliant on the Service provider themselves to test the receipt and delivery of their service, either that or wait days for a reply from the local aggregator to test or worse still not get a test at all. Why!? Why should a client have to wait or figure this out for themselves. What if they have no local presence in a market they cannot test or even still it’s cost prohibitive. For txtNation this was an opportunity to explore this further and devise a way and mechanism of providing this service to our clients in a simple and effective manner. Cue txtNation testing!

In the last several months alone, txtNation have been busy. We have rolled out our Customer Care program which is going from strength to strength, an updated Affiliate Program offering, an improved our WISIWIG to our client support portal and now a testing solution that we feel will provide clients all they need to deploy their services faster and with far less headaches.

Read more on our support forums:

http://clients.txtnation.com/entries/20171408-testing-options

Author: Michael Whelan

 

I keep hearing about the benefits of PayForIt over traditional Premium Short Code billing. Well I have decicded to take these arguments for each up against each other to see why people are tuning into the buzz surrounding PayForIt. For the sake of easy reading and clarity I have complied these arguments into a list.

Customer Pro’s!

Convenience – Consumers do not need to register during the checkout process when using PayForIt. Fast, easy and seamless.

Consistency - The pages are locked and the price, terms and company info cannot be changed meaning greater trust. With Short Codes you have to make your own display of your own call to action.

Ease of use – But is that greater than Premium SMS using Short Codes? This debate will carry on.

Trusted Logo – Well it’s early days, but this has potential!

Merchant Pro’s! The main 3.

Higher Conversion Rate - Well that’s what the debate is. Does it really convert better than Premium Rate Call or SMS? Only time will tell.

Opt-In’s are more sticky - Seamless customer payment experience meaning customers are not leaving the site.

Opens up new marketing channels - This is a biggy. The ability to up sell to other services on the back of PayForIt, shows promise.

Author: Michael Whelan