Video Service Provider Challenges: Billing Solutions in Non-Standard Interfaces and Integrations

In this blog, we discuss a common challenge for video service provides in the age of streaming: solutions for billing in non-standard integrations and how to manage (or avoid) the complexity.

November 30, 2023

Video service has been evolving from the all-inclusive provider-based service to a collection of various streaming applications. This transition creates complexities either for the user or the service provider. In one case the user needs to subscribe to the various streaming applications and set up a billing relationship with each. While this simplifies the work of the service provider it creates a situation where the user must manage all these relationships.

To simplify the user experience, service providers are creating an environment where the streaming applications are made available through a common user experience with billing included in the overall provider’s bill. With this configuration the complexity falls onto the service provider to solve. There are no standard billing interfaces or solutions in dealing with the multitude of streaming applications. Here are some of the crucial issues they might encounter:  

1. Complex Integration: Non-standard interfaces require multiple integrations leading to increased time and costs for implementation.  The different systems may use different protocols, data formats of communication standards increasing the complexity of the solution.  

2. Data Synchronization: Ensuring consistent and up-to-date data across different systems can be challenging. Managing different, unsynchronized billing cycles is another issue. Finally, managing subscription changes for each application is complex. 

3. Scalability: Non-standard solutions make scaling difficult as the number of subscribers grows or the number of applications increases. This can lead to performance issues or the need for additional, costly platform upgrades.  

4. Error Handling: Non-standard interfaces require non-standard management of error handling. This can increase software and integration activities and may lead to billing inaccuracies.

5. Compliance and Security: Ensuring that the billing system is compliant with various regulations (like GDPR or PCI DSS) can be more challenging when dealing with non-standard interfaces, as there may be less guidance available. 

6. Maintenance and Support: Custom or non-standard integrations typically require more maintenance, especially if multiple integrations are required. This increases maintenance and support time and costs.  

To address these challenges, video service providers can: 

  1. Move towards standardization where possible.  Leveraging a direct carrier billing solution can help overcome many of these challenges. The direct carrier billing solution can act as a middleware platform that can bridge the gap between different systems.
  1. Focus on building modular and scalable architecture from the outset. This architecture works to abstract out any differences and simplify the interface to the provider’s billing solution.
  1. Partner with an experienced integration service provider.

Mavsotech can assist in the evaluation and design of a billing solution that not only simplifies the user experience, but also limits the complexities of managing the solution. Contact us today to talk billing solutions and managing complexity.  

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