Over the past 30 years PEC has helped over 10,000 customers all over the world to setup a Calling Card / PINless business using our software solutions. CardSaver allows both startup and experienced prepaid companies to offer Prepaid Calling Card and PINless services to their customers.
With its user-friendly, yet powerful functionality, CardSaver is the industry-preferred billing software for Prepaid Calling services. PEC's Calling Card Solution is custom designed with precise specifications for every individual business. Although a robust and dependable software package, it is also the simplest and most user-friendly package in the industry. Unlike other telecom companies, we provide most add-ons at no additional cost.
The PEC Cardsaver Platform is the most solid and feature rich VoIP Platforms on the market. Utilizing VoIP's SIP functionality, you can take advantage of the flexibility this brings.
With Cardsaver, Administrators can create Agents to resell their various services. Each agent can be setup with as much permission that you wish to allow them. Agents can be setup as prepaid or postpaid and commissions are automatically calculated by the system. Agents can setup their own sub-agents that can share their commission and can even have their own customer service reps for administering the system for accountability. Agents have their own easy interface which makes it easy for them to create and manage customers and sub-agents. Agents can even add funds to their customer via the telephone.
Auto Recharge allows customers to save their credit card numbers securely on the system. When a customer's balance falls too low, the system will automatically replenish their account.
Cardsaver allows PIN Numbers to be generated in batches. PINS can be created in a disabled state to prevent theft and can easily be enabled as the PINS are distributed.
Callback is a functionality that allows customers to trigger the CardSaver System to call them and after answering provide a dial tone. Then customer may make a call to another destination. This feature is highly used overseas where long distance charges are extremely expensive.
A Call Shop is a location where callers can come to and make both domestic and international calls. Most call shops are used for callers to make international calls, and tend to be in tourist locations, Countries where calling from a normal phone or mobile phone is too expensive or poorer areas where callers do not have their own phone lines. A Call Shop customer would come into the call shop and either pay for the call that they are going to make in advance or once the call is over, depending on the call shop.
Cardsaver has a module designed specifically for Call Shops, where a Call Shop Manager, would be able to track all the available seats in the Call Shop from a single user interface, enabling the seat as a customer comes into the Call Shop, and defining the customer as either a prepaid or postpaid customer.
Call forwarding support allows a specific access number to be setup to automatically forward to a specified number when dialed. This feature is extremely useful for world travelers and customers that want to keep their real numbers private.
Customers can easily recharge their accounts using a credit card either via a Web GUI or via the phone IVR. Cardsaver has many fraud prevention features to verify the authenticity of the customer.
Cardsaver allows Customer Service users to be created with permissions. This will allows customer service users to service customers only with the accounts and abilities they have permission for.
PEC's easy web browser based call routing interface allows Administrators to easily add new carriers to send calls to, as well as define which carriers each destination should be routed to. Multiple Carriers can be defined for each destination to ensure that the calls go through.
The Carrier Bypass feature allows a carrier to be bypassed for a customer if the system detects the call is not completing through that carrier.
Administrators can be warned/alerted about a carrier failing calls to specific destinations. Thresholds can be defined so that carriers can automatically be pulled from routing temporarily if they are having issues.
Least Cost Routing allows routing to be decided based on the cost from each carrier. Cheaper carriers will be used as a higher preference when routing.
LCR profit guarantee ensures that the carrier that the call is going through is cheaper than the amount you are charging a customer. This allows you to guarantee you make a profit on each call
Priority Routing support allows you to manually define the routing to specific destinations and split the traffic between multiple carriers or multiple IP Addresses of the same Carrier. This helps to ensure that calls go through properly.
Group Based Routing allows you to control which carriers are used depending on the Group of accounts. This allows you to use premium based carriers for specific customers that require a higher grade of service and are willing to pay for it.
Direct Dial Support allows pinless customers to setup a specific access number to automatically ring through to a given destination. Each customer can have unlimited Direct Dial Numbers setup for their account. This makes an already easy pinless account even easier to use.
E-mail support allows customers to e-mail invoices, reports, graphs or alert messages to provided e-mail addresses.
Expiration Dates for an account can be set statically, or go based on the first used date of the account. If a customer Tops up an account with additional funds, the expiration date can be automatically extended.
You can control most features for accounts based on the group they are associated with. This allows you to provides services to multiple types of customers with the use of a single platform.
Cisco Hardware and Cardsaver support the H323 protocol. This allows carriers that only support H323 to be utilized to send calls through.
Utilizing Cisco, Asterisk and Cardsaver technologies, the Cardsaver platform can support IP-PBX Functionalities which allow businesses to have their own virtual VoIP phone switch.
Utilizing Cisco, Asterisk and Cardsaver technologies, the Cardsaver platform can support IP Phone functionalities which allow customer to make calls from a VoIP Phone or PC Softphone or Mobile Dialer.
IVR is the phone interaction with the caller when they call into the system. This includes the order the prompts are played as well as the interaction with caller. The IVR can be adjusted based on the system requirements.
User Option Features (Customer dials * to enter user options)
## Next Call Support (Dial ## to make another Call)
Low Balance Notification (Play a message to the caller to let them know their balance is running low)
Play a different welcome (greeting) message per access number
If a customer wants to redial the last number they just called, they can press 0# and the system will redial the last number dialed without them having to enter the full number again.
All the Live calls in the system can be viewed via the Web GUI. Calls can even be disconnected via the GUI.
Cardsaver can support up to 9 languages at the same time. You can define a language based on the customer's account or the customer can choose the language when they dial into the system.
Any other language can be added at no additional charge as long as the customer can get the prompts recorded.
Cardsaver can support multiple currencies at the same time. Currently Dollars, Euros, and Pounds are supported.
Pinless Dialing allows customers to register their phone numbers with their account. When they call in using that phone number, the system will automatically recognize their phone number and will not ask them for their PIN Number. This makes it easy since customers don't have to remember any PIN numbers and will continue to reuse their account again and again.
PIN Numbers can be fully managed via the Web GUI. PINs can be generated and modified as required. PINs can be exported to a file to be sent to a Printer. All Pins are tracked and you can easily generate reports to determine the number of PINs sold. PINs can be enabled/disabled easily.
Prompt control allows Administrators to change the wordings of any prompts that customers hear when they call the system.
Cardsaver has a very complete Rate Table support which allows an unlimited number of rate tables and pattern defined for each rate table.
Please see Agent Reseller Module above
Cardsaver has complete reporting available.
Cisco Hardware and Cardsaver support the SIP protocol. This allows carriers that only support SIP to be utilized to send calls through.
Speed Dial support in the Cardsaver Platform allows customers to store up to 99 of the most common numbers they call. When the system prompts the caller for the destination number, and the caller enters their store speed dial number, the system will automatically dial the number.
Allows customers to be charged a surcharge based on the access number they dial or based on the phone number the customer is calling from.
Virtual Storefront (Customers can sign up for service or provision their accounts)
Cardsaver allows customers to top up accounts by using a PIN Number. This allows customers to add funds to their account without talking with an agent or going to a store and without using a credit card.
Using Cardsaver's Virtual Store Front you can provide an E-commerce website to customers where they can create accounts or login securely to manage their accounts via the WEB.
Cardsaver keeps track of all calls going to each of the carriers. This allows you to ensure that the bills that you receive from the carriers are accurate and they are not overcharging you. You can view graphs and reports to see which carriers are performing the best and customers are talking the longest on.
The following network diagram depicts what a typical Prepaid Calling Card system layout would look like. Please keep in mind that the CardSaver RADIUS Server, the CardSaver Web Server, and the CardSaver Database Server can be combined into one system.
With CardSaver, you will be able to generate an unlimited quantity of calling cards. CardSaver will export these cards to a comma delimited flat file which can be given to a card printer. When searching for a company to print your calling cards, there are few factors to consider: price, quality, and services offered.
Generally, it will cost you between 5 and 10 cents per calling card for printing depending on volume. Of course, the larger quantity of cards that you print, the better rate per card you will receive. Keep in mind that most card printers require that you order at least 10,000 cards, in which case the cards should be about 10 cents each. Expect to pay a setup fee for the printing as well and a design fee if you are not creating the design yourself.
Although price is an important factor, quality is often more important. If possible, view a sample of the card printer's work before placing the order to make sure that it is acceptable. Pay attention to details such as material thickness, ink quality, and the quality of the silver scratch off area located on the back of the card. The card should be presentable.
Some companies offer graphic design services as well as card printing. If you are not planning to create the card designs yourself it is a great idea for the card printer to create the designs for you.
When selecting long distance providers for your calling card system, it is usually best to select multiple carriers. Most calling card companies provide service to almost anywhere in the world, but focus on a particular region of the world. For this reason, it is best to have an A-Z long distance provider that can send your calls to anywhere in the world and also a regional long distance provider that focuses only on the region of the world that you are targeting.
After setting up a solid calling card infrastructure and printing your calling cards, it is time to start making money. First, you need to set your selling rates, and then you need to market your product.
There are many factors to consider when setting your selling rates. You need to consider your competition's prices, your expenses, and the buying rates per destination.
Analyzing your competitor's pricing is not as straight forward as it may seem. Sure, they advertise 8 cents a minute to India, and 1 cent per minute within the USA, but how much are they really charging? The truth is that the profit for most companies is NOT made with the per-minute charge, but rather, with the various fees that they charge to their customers. Yes, there are many cards in the market that do not have fees, but these cards always charge a significantly higher rate per minute. See Features for a list of fees that CardSaver supports.
The methods by which to market your calling cards will differ from location to location:
Most customers in minority-dominated areas tend to buy phone cards from local ethnic retail shops. Usually, these stores are willing to carry new phone cards if they feel they can make money with it. Retail stores generally buy cards at about 75% of the face value of the card. For example, if you have a card that has a face value of $5.00, the retailer will pay you $3.75
Areas that have a large number of international and business travelers tend to be more profitable for phone card companies than minority-dominated areas. Retail stores in these areas tend to take higher commissions; however, the profit margins are also much higher. Retail stores in these areas will usually pay less than 75% of face value for phone cards.
Phone card distributors usually distribute more than one brand of cards and usually have an established relationship with the local retail stores. Selling through a distributor is the best way to sell a high volume of cards; however, after paying the distributor and the retail store, you should expect to receive less than 70% of the face value of your card. Also, distributors usually do not pay you up front for your cards; they only pay after they get paid.
Internet cafés are ideal locations to sell prepaid calling services. As Internet Infrastructure is already in place, there is no need to purchase PSTN lines from the phone company or print physical cards. Customers that are already using the Internet services will be aware that they now can make international calls from the same location.
Over the past couple of years, Internet phone card sales have increased tremendously. The Internet makes it convenient for customers to purchase and recharge cards.
In any business, there is no customer like your own customer. If a customer is satisfied with the quality of your service, chances are that you can convince him to buy from your company again. On the back of every card and in every email that you send to a customer, it is essential that you offer recharge capabilities. Recharge capabilities increase your profit margin by removing the distributor from the picture.
PEC offers customers two solutions to allow recharging capabilities. The first is via the web, and the second is via the telephone. Customers can use their credit cards to recharge their accounts instantly.
First and foremost, you must develop a solid infrastructure for your Prepaid Calling Card system to run on. Without a solid infrastructure, you will be spending more time worrying about your systems integrity than marketing your product. The following is a list of equipment and services that you will require to start the business. We have also included recommendations that we feel will ensure a solid infrastructure.
We list this item first not only because it is one of the products that we provide, but because it is the most vital in the list. Choosing a good billing software will ensure that every call made through your system is tracked and no call is left unbilled. CardSaver by PEC is not only a robust, dependable software package, it is also the simplest and most user-friendly package in the industry. CardSaver enables you to view reports on traffic passing in and out of your system. CardSaver also gives you complete control over your calling cards, including PIN generation, a large variety of fees, expiration dates, and much more. CardSaver is a vital component for developing a solid infrastructure.
The VoIP gateway that handles all of the calls into and out of your system is the next vital component. If your hardware fails, your customers' calls will not go through. Thus, we recommend CISCO for all installations.
Ideally, we recommend a rackmount server with sufficient specifications:
Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor
4 GB RAM or higher
Dual SATA hard drives
Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Intel Single Quad Core Xeon Processor
4+ GB RAM
Dual 15K SAS hard drives
Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Intel Dual Quad Core Xeon Processor
4+ GB RAM
Dual 15K SAS hard drives
Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
Choosing a reliable Internet service is the backbone of your Calling Card network and will ensure that your billing server and VoIP gateways will stay online. Ideally, you should place your servers in a co-location facility (i.e. 60 Hudson Street in New York) which is less likely to go down compared your office or home. However, if you are placing the equipment at a home or office - we only recommend Verizon FiOS as an Internet connection. If you are placing your systems in a co-location facility, be sure to ask your Internet provider what kind of redundancy is available in case their service goes down; often, the provider will use the backbone of another Internet provider in this event. If your Internet provider does not have a failover plan, you may want to consider selecting a second Internet service as a backup. PEC offers Internet service and hosting for CardSaver customers as well.
The phone service that you choose is as important as the Internet service that you choose. If your phone lines are down, your customers cannot call into your system. Generally, phone service is more reliable than Internet service, so it not necessary to be as concerned about redundancy. However, be sure to choose the correct phone service for your application. If you have a system that supports T1 lines, make sure that the T1 is a PRI. If you require that the Caller ID is logged for every call, be sure to add Caller ID (ANI) service. In the US, Canada, Western Europe, some of Eastern Europe and Australia - you have the option of choosing VoIP Phone Service for your access numbers. This is the recommended service as it is easy to acquire and will probably save you money. PEC can explain further if you have any questions regarding VoIP access numbers versus physical T1 lines.
We have had many customers, usually in Africa, that have, after configuring everything properly, complained about the system not working properly. After digging deeper into their problems, we came to realize that their line quality was so poor that the VoIP gateway could not understand the digits that customers were keying in from their phones. After changing their lines, the system worked perfectly.
In most places throughout the world, power outages are a daily event. If your systems are located in a place where power outages are common, it is essential to have some sort of power generator. For those living in places where electricity is taken for granted, it is still important to consider the integrity of your power service. It is essential, regardless of your location, to have a UPS battery backup. It is recommended that your battery backup can last at least two hours in case of a power outage. If you are placing your equipment in a co-location facility chances are that you will be connected to a generator, however, it is still necessary to have a UPS battery backup.
For more information regarding Calling Cards and pricing, please call us at 1-732-290-1900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org