Direct carrier billing (DCB) looks to be at risk of being a victim of its own success – and it is making it difficult for MNOs to choose who to work with. So what are MNOs looking for? Paul Skeldon reports
Since the introduction of PSD2 in Europe – although, in other regions, natural growth has driven it into more widespread use – DCB has started to become a tool that an ever wider range of businesses want to use. But how do they choose?
According to research by ROCCO, there are 26 recognised DCB vendors worldwide, but knowing which ones to work with based on what they offer is becoming a big task. In attempt to cut through the vegetation of DCB service offerings and to provide MNOs with an idea of who they can do what with, ROCCO has uncovered some interesting things about the DCB market.
“Investing in Vendors always takes a great effort, MNOs need to make RFP, RFQ and selection processes which take time and energy away from monetisation of Roaming,” explains Jason Bryant, Senior Consultant, Analyst and CEO of ROCCO. “This report aims to offer advice from other MNOs which might help MNOs not yet decided on which Vendor to choose. If the MNO is not part of a group, or an independent MNO they hardly ever get the advice of other MNOs on the challenges they face, so the benefits of listening to a truly neutral 3rd party like ROCCO are clear.”
What do MNOs want from DCB?
So what are the key things that carriers are looking for from DCB providers? According to ROCCO, by far the biggest issue is security – covering fraud prevention, policies and procedures and protection advice – with 28% of MNOs seeing this as important. Business focus, detailing the verticals DCB providers cover and their level of innovation comes second at 16%, reinforcing just has important security and fraud prevention are to these companies (which probably doesn’t come as too much of a surprise).
“On Security itself several MNOs indicated that there was never enough insurance and support from the vendor side on security and much more needed to be done to
reassure them,” says Bryant. “It should be noted several Vendors had good ratings on Security, with Dimoco, Centili and Boku receiving high scores from MNOs.”
Interestingly, direct connectivity comes in at fourth place on 10%, behind low cost and efficient implementation at 12%.
Pricing models, up-time and technical support all however around 7 or 8%. Monitoring and reporting are all surprisingly low down the list of wants – notably because the MNOs will no doubt be doing this themselves.
“MNOs indicated to us that the “Security” was the most important criteria for them. Followed by “Business Focus” and “Implementation processes,” ,” says Bryant. “Reporting” must be working well since it was the lease important for MNOs.”
What are MNOs getting?
That is what MNOs want: what do they actually get? According to the research, which looked at KPIs around these key areas, again the findings are very interesting.
From a global perspective across all opinions from all vendors on the DCB specific KPIs we can see that “Pricing Models” are a successful feature of Vendors, but “Direct Connectivity” is a weak area. The most important area for MNOs being security, seems to be high on the agenda.
“We asked MNOs to rate Vendors on specific KPIs related to DCB,” says Bryant. “While the Strategic Analysis version of this report shows the detailed results the overall results for all MNOs rating all vendors is below. While responses were rated overall average, note that MNOs feel that the DCB for Internet of Things related devices is very weak.
Plans to change?
The report also looked at what plans MNOs had to change DCB suppliers and why. Hearteningly, 38% expressed that they have no plans to change, while 27% are thinking about it, but have no plans in place yet. 19% do however have plans to change DCB provider within the next year and 8% in the next month.
“Overall, Vendors should be recognised for a job well done, or in case they didn’t perform optimally, should have the ability to identify where they can improve,” concludes Bryant. “Even if they may not agree with the MNOs views here, they may have a second opinion into what’s important to MNOs.”
The toppermost, poppermost in DCB
Between November 2017 and March 2018 ROCCO (Roaming Consulting Company Ltd) questioned 214 MNOs from 91 countries, including all continents. The objective was to evaluate Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) vendors and rank these on 30+ KPIs in the area of performance, value and leadership.
26 vendors were included in the report, the three vendors, Centili, Veoo and DIMOCO, were ranked as Tier One, reaching an overall score between four and five points out of a possible five.
DIMOCO currently obtains 191 MNO connections and in 51 countries and services industries ranging from ePublishing to Ticketing & Parking, Physical Goods, Video & Music to iGaming, Lifestyle Content and Wholesale.
According to the report, Centili is “doing an amazing job joining carriers with global merchants”; Veoo is an “intelligent solution we enjoy, more than any other vendor we work with”; and DIMOCO is a “leading carrier billing provider with numerous direct operator connections”.
“This is an incredibly competitive environment, where DIMOCO have demonstrated a clear leadership in Direct Carrier Billing with high ratings from MNOS on many important KPIs”, says Jason Bryan, Founder and CEO of Rocco.
“4.1 out of 5 points is a very respectable achievement which we are very proud of,” says Clemens Leitner, Executive Vice President, Carrier & Business Development, adding: “We are especially proud of being top scorer in the categories Business Focus (Covered Verticals, Innovation and Flexibility), Technical Expertise and Implementation Process, in addition to scoring a golden medal in the category Performance+, which include the probably most important DCB specific aspects such as Security, Uptime Performance and Intelligence Information.”
For more information
To learn more and to buy the report go to