We are sure, that if you were on the lookout for billing and rating providers, you came across Chargebee. Many companies dealing with subscription and usage services sooner or later come to require a versatile rating and billing solution. Perhaps marketing niches caused their product catalog to expand, or maybe they began offering additional services. In any case, their current rating and billing solution fails to provide the features they require. Google searches usually lead them to Chargebee, which is admittedly a great billing service provider and incredibly well marketed. Chargebee technologies appear to focus on rating and billing of subscriptions and one-time purchases but does not seem to provide the ability of advanced usage rating and billing.
Their solution tends to suffice when dealing with regular subscription purchases, one-time fees, and basic usage rating. When it comes to usage rating and billing, however, it appears they limit it to predefined units and event fields, and basic key-value or incremental rate plans. Secondly, they do not seem to offer any zoning hierarchy or complex rating tariffs. But what happens when the client requires more? Requirements such as zoning and custom event fields, after all, are often a mandatory feature for many clients. These clients can include companies from the telco industry, from electric vehicle industries, utility providers, and many more. Not having their requirements met, these potential clients are forced to seek solutions at other Chargebee competitors.
Tridens Monetization: a Chargebee Alternative
Let us walk you through the key capabilities of our solution. Tridens Monetization focuses precisely on features that many other rating and billing solutions fail to support. It allows innovative offer designs for our clients. You can configure a wide variety of offers by combining bundling of recurring and one-time fees with advanced discounting and consumption-based charges. An intuitive user interface enables Tridens Monetization clients to manage their customers with ease. They can view customer accounts and history, grant new balances for rating, manage customer services, etc. Agents can quickly onboard new customers and manage multiple accounts, such as family or business hierarchies, with split bills and payment responsibility.
When it comes to rating and charging usage events, Tridens Monetization has outstanding configurability. We like to say, “If you can measure it, we can rate it.” – A statement not so easily claimed by many other rating and billing solution providers. Chargebee reviews confirm that they also offer basic usage rating for simple units, such as clicks or downloads, through feature manipulation. Tridens Monetization, however, offers complete configurability when it comes to unit definition for usage rating. Our clients can define their unit groups, factors, and rating metrics for quantity calculation. Furthermore, Tridens Monetization allows configuration of custom services with custom fields, allowing quick integration with other systems.
Billing and Invoicing capability is one of the main features which rating and billing solutions must support. Tridens Monetization offers features such as billing products and services to your customers as advanced or arrears. You can customize the way your invoices look like and choose the delivery method yourself. You can track revenue and perform payment collections through our payment gateway integrations (Processing Payments in Tridens Monetization). Tridens Monetization also offers general ledgers support and custom reporting.
Real-time Usage Rating
The ability to rate usage events in real-time is mandatory when dealing, for example, with prepaid customers. Such customers top up their funds while the rating system keeps track of their balances. We tried to determine how other providers like Chargebee, GetCheddar, Gotransverse, or Aria, support real-time usage rating.
In some industries, prepaid customers use multiple services simultaneously. On a mobile phone, a customer can be in the middle of a voice call, while having his mobile data active, thus using two services at once. Therefore, the rating and billing system needs to ensure that the account balance does not run out. The system achieves this by performing authorizations and reauthorizations on balances and charging them. This process demands real-time usage rating, which many solutions do not support fully due to complexity and performance loads. Nevertheless, we are proud to inform you that real-time rating is one of the main features supported in Tridens Monetization.
When Tridens Monetization rates an event, it performs a sequence of actions within milliseconds:
- Extracts event fields based on their customized service type
- Matches custom fields to rate plan mappings
- Matches rating set fields via hierarchical searches
- Processes fields by rating metrics to determine quantity
- Adjusts quantity based on configured charge intervals
- Selects the correct tariff and resource details
- Processes resource details and applies charges to the user
- This process also involves applying discounts, taxes, and charge-sharing
- Checks for threshold breaches and generates notifications
Taking so many different factors into account, and setting up a rating scenario with this level of complexion would be very difficult, likely impossible, with either Chargebee integrations, GetCheddar, and many other similar service providers. Find an example of setting up a telecom prefix matching hierarchy of rating sets below.
Diverse Business Models and Integration Options
Due to the configurability of Tridens Monetization, we can provide coverage for different business models. Many of our clients often have hierarchical structures for their customers, such as family plans or agent-partner bonds, commission processing, and split-billing. Their business models often vary or combine prepaid customers with classic postpaid (subscription-based) customers, and customers with immediate payment options.
A good example would be a case similar to Uber. In this case, a customer has a postpaid bill for his monthly fee subscription and an additional immediate payment option. He can use the instant payment option to pay for each ride directly from his credit card.
The Tridens Monetization REST API also offers extensive integration options for our clientele. Any action possible through our user interface is also achievable by using our APIs. Integrating with our API gives our clients more control over their configuration options. Besides Tridens Monetization accepting events via its REST API, our clients can also choose another way of event delivery. During our review of the competition, we noticed that the Chargebee API is also well developed and maintained, yet due to their case focus, it offers fewer features.
We developed diameter protocol support and an ability to process CDRs (Call Detail Records) via customizable event mappers. Of course, our clients can choose their custom service types and set up their event mappers on their own. Custom event mappers mean you can easily configure any service to receive events via FTP, by mapping inputs to service event fields. The formats of input files are also adjustable, giving our clients extra wiggle room when integrating with our system. Below is an example of how to set up a custom event mapper from a pre-existing CSV file.
Key Differentiators with Tridens Monetization and Chargebee pricing
We have established that Tridens Monetization is a highly configurable solution used by clientele from different industries and for various purposes. We want to point out some key differentiators which separate Tridens Monetization from Chargebee and other similar providers:
- Support for complex usage rating for custom services in real-time – in addition to regular subscription or one-time fee cases
- Threshold and Notification system support due to real-time rating options
a. Webhooks allow third-party systems to subscribe to Tridens Monetization events
- Bill shock prevention
- Charge sharing, commissions, split billing
- Custom unit group, rating set, and tariff definitions
- Multiple balances support for customers – free units, credit, etc.
- Diverse Business model support with the ability to combine prepaid, postpaid and pay-now options
Due to a wide variety of clientele, we sometimes come across clients who do not require all the features which Tridens Monetization offers out of the box. Since our clients have different requirements and requests, it is difficult to provide a unified price list, such as other providers usually do. While we do have some general pricing guidelines, we tend to talk to our potential clients first. Through discovering their use-case and their needs, we then strive to provide customized pricing. Custom prices ensure that all business sizes can use our system and that they can grow without significant initial expenses. Perhaps you would like to hear more, or maybe you have a use-case which you would like to see in Tridens Monetization. If that’s the case, feel free to contact us today, and we will help you out.