In part 1 of this story, I described how things were going in the market when FIQAS truly started in the mid-1990s. Now, I’ll take you to the future as we see it and explain how we adapt to it.
Adapting Flexibly to Changes
During the time when the internet provider ZON offered free internet, new business models emerged. This also meant changes for us. It was even said that user-based billing was past its prime and everything would become ‘flat fee.’ Ironically, it has gone completely the other way: customers now prefer not having a flat fee but paying for what they use. This shows how challenging it is to predict the future. What matters most is being flexible and adaptable to changes. Telecom companies now aim to establish long-term relationships with their customers, and personalized billing is a significant part of that.
Creativity with Data
One aspect we can definitely work with in the future is tailoring our services based on the data extracted from our system. For instance, if we notice from a customer database of millions that most people pay on a Saturday at the beginning of the month, we can utilize this. We might adjust the timing of billing or test which type of reminder works best for different customer groups. Business Intelligence and even Artificial Intelligence in data mining are becoming increasingly crucial. They can further enhance and streamline the process in the future.
Examples of What’s Possible
The challenge with innovation is that many people can’t yet grasp its potential. When we ask our customers what they want to extract from their customer data, we usually get the question back: can you show us what’s possible? That’s currently our focus: building good cases that can serve as examples for our customers. This naturally prompts them to explore other aspects, contributing to an overall improvement in the process. These can be basic questions like ‘Does the data show that this customer is a good payer?’ but by combining, aggregating, and anonymizing data from various sources, you can go much further.
PSD2 and blockchain
Payment Service Directive 2 (PSD2) is a current disruptive development. It removes banks from the equation, allowing receiving organizations direct access to their customers’ bank accounts. This simplifies things for organizations; they can instantly see if the balance is sufficient and experience fewer reversals. The payment landscape is changing, demanding flexibility. Blockchain, on the other hand, is a different evolution: fraud-free digital payments without banks. We are curious about how this will develop regarding regulations and acceptance. But when the time comes, we’ll be ready and able to collaborate with the systems our customers already use.
The services we currently offer to our customers can be expanded in various directions. For example, we found a way to create an order management system as an add-on to our system with a new customer. Such modular expansions are always interesting because they offer a crucial piece of the puzzle for our client’s success. If it’s essential for one customer, there are likely others we can assist. We still focus on our strengths but increase our focus this way, with performance and scalability as core principles.
Back-End of the Process
Another expansion of our services lies in the back-end of the billing process. For instance, we also handle the debt collection process for some clients. Moreover, some clients come to us not because the calculations are complex but because we excel in managing reminders and the associated reporting. The focus point varies for each client, and we adapt well to that. That’s how we continue to make a difference in the future.
CEO FIQAS Software B.V.
FIQAS has been an authority in billing processes since 1989, with reputable clients in the Netherlands and abroad, operating from Aalsmeer.