The reality is, data intelligence is going to be fuelling decision making more than ever before. According to Gartner, 90% of CEOs are anticipating to invest “more, less, or the same amount” in AI since COVID-19.
Therefore, we are going to see a significant shift where more businesses will begin to view their billing and revenue management as not just operational process facilitators, but rather data intelligence enablers.
Furthermore, with the increasing proliferation of data, security and integrity will be highly scrutinized.
Let’s take a look at the key trends to be on the lookout for over the coming year.
1. AI and data intelligence fuelling revenue decision-making
Billing platforms are constantly computing millions of revenue data inputs such as price, product metrics, usage, taxation, revenue recognition rates and much more. Yes, this data is there to ensure providers can accurately invoice and collect payments. However, this bed of intel sitting in the backend is in fact a powerful source of intel for companies.
The sheer volume of data can be converted to produce meaningful analytics for companies to perform predictive data analytics that shape future revenue strategy decisions. For example, if there is a product that is sold at three different subscription levels, companies can monitor demand and usage of their product at each of these levels over time and determine if there is a way to ‘fine tune’ and raise the pricing thresholds to maximize revenue.
Furthermore, by analysing customer cycles of payments and product usage over longer periods of time, companies can begin to predict patterns of future revenue behaviour and better plan for when it might be the right time to cross-sell and upsell them on new features.
Therefore in considering this, it is vital to have a billing platform that can produce intelligent and meaningful reports that can propel analysis and decision making.
2. Accelerated entry into new markets through partner networks
Let’s face it, entry into new geographical markets can be a costly exercise. However, with the world becoming more geographically closer through data connection, it is imperative that businesses consider how they can reach new audiences as part of their growth plans.
As a result, we are going to see more larger enterprise companies forming partner relationships with businesses who are already operating in these locations. They will in fact become resellers or pseudo representatives of their operations.
The only challenge with engaging multiple partners is that it can be cumbersome to manage data between entities, product and pricing strategies that are tailored to the market, taxation nuances and commissions.
With this in mind, it is imperative that companies are equipped with a billing platform that integrates their global partner network into one solution and can make it easier to manage and monitor these unique product, pricing, taxation and commission elements.
Moreover, an intelligent Revenue Management solution should ideally support both the Wholesale as well as Retail marketplace in a single platform, enabling them to settle commissions in real-time, automate the revenue calculation process and provide white-label bill-on-behalf-of capabilities.
3. Continued shift towards consumption-based buying behavior
Another common surfacing is that customer’s product and pricing strategy is significantly shifting. Over the last decade, businesses have been heavily focused on subscription-based offers. However, now we are seeing a move to consumption-based products and services, or even a hybrid of both subscription-based and consumption-based.
These hybrid pricing strategies can include:
- Subscription plus one-time charges
- Subscription plus pay-as-you-go
- Subscription plus overage
- Tiered pricing
- Rule-driven models
Therefore this need is going to play a significant role in influencing a billing provider’s product innovation roadmap to ensure that their platform can facilitate and make billing easy for businesses who want to implement these strategies in the market.
4. Payment verification through emerging technologies
We are now in a world where customers are increasingly expecting that they can pay for a product or service via any means they choose; whether that be an online payment platform, credit card, ACH, wire transfer, check, cash, money wallet, pay by text, and much more.
At the end of the day, their chosen payment method is always going to be driven by what’s most ‘convenient’ and easily accessible. Hence, many online payment platforms are jumping on developing face, voice and thumbprint recognition technology to facilitate more convenient payments.
The implication of this is that billing platforms are going to need to integrate with such online payment platforms, in order to meet this emerging need.
5. Blockchain driving data transparency and integrity
Finally, it is without a doubt that BlockChain will play a major role in revenue management moving forward. Through BlockChain technology, companies can ensure the financial integrity of each transaction, especially when it impacts multiple entities in a channel ecosystem.
Also, this technology can be leveraged to ensure there is no revenue leakage by providing an end-to-end audit trail for the transaction. As the integrity of data comes more into question, being able to see ‘the movement of money’ from end-to-end is going to be critical for both providers and customers.
Consequently, billing platforms will not be seen as a stand-alone solution in a companies’ enterprise and channel ecosystem. It will very much be a key connector in the chain.
In reflecting on these top trends, it is essential for billing platforms to be the one stop solution for enhanced data analytics, advanced partner management, facilitating various pricing strategies, all with the ability to integrate with emerging payment platforms and technologies.
To learn more about how OneBill can accelerate revenue intelligence and integrity for your business, book a demo with us today.