Syniverse Clearing and Settlement Services Help Swisscom Optimize Roaming Business
As with many mobile operators, Swisscom derives a significant amount of its revenue from its roaming business. Yet setting up the interoperator agreements and the processes needed to manage interoperator tariffs, data clearing and financial clearing adds a huge level of complexity to an operator’s business, not to mention prohibitive levels of cost.
“If we were to set up our own data and financial clearing systems, we would need to make physical connections with over 600 partner networks we deal with, establishing individual connections with each one of them,” said Tommy Bertling, Senior Marketing Manager, Pricing and Roaming, Swisscom. “As you can imagine, the sheer complexity involved in managing and operating such a wide variety of relationships and tariff agreements is not efficient for any operator, and would also drive costs up radically. We were therefore clear from the outset than an outsourced solution would be required.”
The management of financial clearing and settlement presented a particular challenge for Swisscom. While it could enact net settlement with individual partners, considerable funds still had to be made available for settlement each month. Consequently, Swisscom needed a solution that would allow it to reach complete settlement much more efficiently while freeing up capital within the business.
A final consideration for Swisscom was the need to ensure effective fraud protection and revenue assurance for its roaming revenues. The ability to recognize fraudulent activity as soon as possible is essential for operators looking to reduce fraud losses across their operations. Swisscom needed a solution that would augment its existing fraud protection and revenue assurance procedures by providing a view of subscriber activity when these subscribers are roaming on a visited network. This would allow them to have a compete view of all relevant call and data sessions, providing them with the ability to identify fraudulent behavior much more quickly.
To address these challenges, Syniverse provided Swisscom with a fully outsourced data and financial clearing solution delivered through its Clearing and Settlement Services suite .
The services provided to Swisscom are fully integrated with a single view for roaming wholesale, retail and financial data, enabling the operator to fully control, analyze and optimize its business at the group and subscriber levels. Syniverse’s autorepair functions correct the most common TAP errors, ensuring less revenue is leaked through incorrect billing and reconciliation issues.
The Syniverse clearing and settlement solution combines rating and tariff management, billing interoperability and transactions as well as advanced reporting and business intelligence, with access to its Multilateral Settlement Pool, which consolidates multiple payment transactions into one settlement transaction per member.
In addition, Swisscom secures itself against potential losses from roaming fraud by implementing Syniverse’s Fraud Management system, a service that removes the need for Swisscom to add near-real-time data roaming data exchange to its in-house fraud system.
By turning to Syniverse for its data and financial clearing, Swisscom immediately benefited by removing any need to manage these processes itself. “Most telecom operators would agree that it is best practice to outsource data clearing to the experts,” Bertling said. “We simply need to make one connection with Syniverse, and, immediately, all of our interoperator connections are established. This removes a major management burden from us and allows us to concentrate on our core focus of winning more subscribers. However, it was Syniverse’s financial clearing and settlement capabilities that really won us over and delivered the greatest benefits to our business.”
A major benefit of the Syniverse solution is that Swisscom no longer has to settle with each individual roaming partner at the end of each month. With its Multilateral Settlement Pool, Syniverse lets Swisscom settle with all its roaming partners through one single payment. The immediate advantage for Swisscom is that it no longer needs to commit as much funding to the monthly settlement budget.
“Before Syniverse, financial clearing was a very unscientific process, and we would have to fund tens of millions in capital into the settlement pool every month,” Bertling said. “Syniverse has allowed us to fund the net payment across all roaming partners, allowing us to free the capital for other projects. Moreover, we have greatly reduced the amount of debt owed to us through the settlement of roaming balances. Before Syniverse took over the financial clearing, we would have somewhere in the region of 60 to 70 million Swiss Francs outstanding over a period of between six months and three years. Today that figure has been reduced to 5 million Swiss Francs and continues to decrease, and we have reduced payment resolution to just four months. This has greatly reduced our financial risk.”
Syniverse’s approach to financial clearing and settlement has further benefited Swisscom through enhanced reporting. Swisscom now has full transparency of all roaming payments and can see instantly which invoices have been submitted and which have been cleared. This allows it to have a much better view of its finances as required throughout the month.
“Syniverse has allowed us to fund the net payment across all roaming partners, allowing us to free the capital for other projects. Moreover, we have greatly reduced the amount of debt owed to us through the settlement of roaming balances.”
Through its fraud prevention and assurance services, Syniverse is also helping Swisscom to reduce losses caused by fraudulent activity across the majority of GSM networks. Syniverse acts as an international fraud protection hub for its customers, drawing information from all its customers’ roaming relationships across the globe. This allows a more holistic view of potential fraud than individual operators are usually able to manage, as they can only monitor user behavior through their own roaming relations.
“Not only has Syniverse removed the considerable administrative burden required to meet the requirements of near-real-time roaming data exchange, but they have provided a service which monitors fraud in more depth than individual operators can hope to do,” Bertling said. “This is a great help in assisting us in stopping fraud before the associated costs get too high.”