We are delighted with the positive response to our sixth-generation control panel, MytxtNation, and have introduced a few updates in the past week to enhance your use of our key tools.

We have now made it easier to request new services from MytxtNation. Simply visit the “All APIs” page for a clearer directory of all our available services and a new request feature, allowing you to select the mobile billing and messaging services of interest, which then gets shared with our business development teams.

An experienced representative, or your account manager if you have been assigned one, will then discuss the next steps to ensure we are all lined up. Our focus is on getting your services up and running, ensuring your compliance, technical and business needs are met.

You can find the “Request Service” button throughout MytxtNation. Click one or more services, or tell us about any bespoke needs not listed, confirm your email address or those of your partners, and submit. It’s the quickest way to tell us what you need directly from our control panel.

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Jon Rowsell, txtNation’s managing director, attended the AIME Quarterly General Meeting on 23rd October in the City of London.

It was kickstarted by Garret Doyle, COO of Irish consultancy Red Flag. Garret was formerly CEO of iTouch, a substantial aggregator ten years ago, which was subsequently acquired. Red Flag lobbies on behalf of diverse industries, with recent activity centring on big tobacco’s issues with non-branded packaging and aiding charities with Premium SMS donations to maximise Gift Aid. Garret shared his experiences of lobbying for policy change with its benefits and pitfalls.

The Payment Services Directive (PSD) was a recurring topic at the GM, where we learned more about how AIME, PPP and the MBG are working together, alongside the UK Treasury, on the wording of this key directive, including exemptions for mobile billing and marketing from Financial Services Authority oversight. Selling physical goods via mobile, which is currently blocked, was also touched upon in that context.

Next up was Jeremy Stafford-Smith, Vodafone B2B Compliance Manager, who invited txtNation along with other L1s to a workshop on the customer journey, focussed on bringing consistency, timeliness and accuracy of information throughout the value chain to benefit end users. txtNation will report back on the success of these customer care implementations in November.

Jeremy Flynn from Empello, which monitors compliance on behalf of Vodafone, highlighted the importance of prominent, clear customer care details  and the crucial responsiveness of support personnel through each provided contact method. Receiving prompt service was heavily underlined as key to providing effective customer care and he reminded us of the simple choices open to complainants: the number checker on PhonepayPlus’s website, which acts as a database of all registered L1 providers, and the prominent, red “Complain” button, highlighting the importance of providing timely customer care.

AIME has been doing a good job, proactively targeting other sectors to stimulate member activity, with recent representation of the organisation at the Telemedia trade show. Other activity is planned, with the focus on apps and gaming at Apps World (12th – 13th November) and on iGaming at Pay360 (25th November), as well as next year’s Digital Media Summit (February 2015). Major press and online media coverage is also planned.

This year saw AIME release their Digital Marketing Guidelines, following lengthy consultation, and although they do not yet form part of PPP’s official Code, they will be taken into account as mitigation when adopted during tribunal.

The AIME Early Warning System, which confidentially keeps industry ahead of potential issues through inter-group notifications, was trumpeted as a success, though a request for more submissions was heard. Similarly, AIME is planning to form a group called COBRA, drawing parallels with the UK Government’s emergency response group of the same name set up to respond to emergency situations in the realm of interactive media and entertainment, helping reduce potential consumer harm and relieve resources by stemming problems before they escalate.

Next was exciting news of a 2015 Telemedia / AIME UK event to be held somewhere outside of London, details to be released in the coming months. We’ll write about that on the blog when it is announced.

AIME has formed a new Charity Working Group attended by Children In Need, Comic Relief, Soccer Aid, Cancer Research, among other charities, with the primary aim of collecting Gift Aid through SMS reply rather than mobile micro-sites. The opportunity effectively represents a £3.75m blackhole, where donors don’t complete the requirements necessary to avoid 25% of the donation going into UK government coffers.

Rory Maguire of AIME received praise for playing a notable part in the ongoing 13th Code Consultation, backing various changes including upping the maximum daily cost per “call” (same will apply to SMS) to £45 from £30, the prior permission regime changes that mean it should need less administration to go live with services by reducing the lengthy approval process, and a lower barrier to contest tribunal decisions.

Various parts of the consultation were objected to, including, importantly, the classification of children’s services, with outliers like Candy Crush Saga being classified as a children’s service, due to it’s cartoon nature, despite the biggest user demographic comprising women in the 18 – 30 age bracket.

Other business saw calls for AIME being involved in EE’s recent announcement, with Three’s upcoming backing, that will herald new rules preventing multibill Premium SMS so that you can no longer send, for example, 2 x £1.50 messages to bill £3.00, as well as signalling a change to all regulatory messages so that the likes of spend reminders and Payforit opt-in PINs have to be terminated via their direct routes, as opposed to cheaper standard rate MT routes.

All in all, it was a busy, proactive and positive meeting that focussed on a number of vital topics to our sector.

 

We are pleased to announce that we have improved our support announcement setup, and now offer a more targeted system, with increased relevance.

The main forum is now available here and you can visit the sub forums below:

With the improved support announcement system, you can now subscribe to the most targeted forum for you. Each announcement has a dedicated topic, allowing for subsequent updates.

We have also added a guide to understanding your account balance in MytxtNation.

billing headers

 

 

Our new FAQs are now online at My Account (Balance, Statistics), showing full details on your billing activities.

faqs

Keep up to date on connectivity, market availability, regulation changes, network uptime and key Mobile Billing and Messaging updates. If you have any feedback on our support system, please contact us. .

txtNation is moving its entire platform to new and improved infrastructure. As part of this migration, we cannot maintain all of our current IP addresses. Therefore, we urgently ask all our clients and partners to white list the following IP addresses to ensure continuity of service. This is in addition to your current txtNation IP addresses.

Please do not replace your current txtNation IP addresses for now, but do append your current white list. It is vital that you update your firewall, servers and/or applications to accept communications to and from these new IP addresses. We kindly request that you do so by Tuesday, 1st April 2014.
If you have any questions about this requirement, please ask your account manager or contact our support team, who look forward to assisting you.
This work will provide the foundations for further significant upgrades to our platform throughout 2014. Thank you for your timely cooperation and for doing amazing things with our technology.
Please add these to your white list in addition to your current txtNation IP addresses:
162.13.59.148
162.13.52.70
162.13.104.239
37.153.99.112

txtNation have introduced a new chat feature into all tickets on our support system. Simply click the chat link inside your ticket to speak directly with the member of staff that is handling your issue. Benefits to using this include:

  • Receiving quicker answers
  • Discuss issues you are unsure of in more detail.
  • Voice and video chat.
  • Screen sharing.
  • Manned by the whole support team, so someone will always be available (rather than relying on single Skype contacts).
  • All chats logged into a Zendesk ticket for future reference.

We see such tools as improving the ways in which we can reach out to our clients. Please let us know what you think about this feature or if you have any other ideas about how we can improve our support offerings to you.

PhonepayPlus held a stakeholder forum this week, on Tuesday. We were in attendance with other members of the industry to put forward ideas and suggestions for how PhonepayPlus can shape their strategic direction, as they review their plans for the next 4 years. This included discussions on the future of Premium SMS in UK for web and mobile web – mobile billing, with the recent adoption of Payforit.

PhonepayPlus - Strategic Stakeholder Meeting

txtNation Support on your iPhone

We love our users. New website offers seamless support on the web and mobile.

We are delighted to launch our new Consumer Care support website at sd.txtnation.com, providing seamless assistance to end users on the desktop and mobile devices powered by iOS and Android.

txtNation is committed to giving every end user the help they require at their fingertips. We have assisted many thousands of end users since the launch of our “SD” (Support and Development) website nearly a decade ago. This update makes it easier to view country information in all the territories in which we operate, as well as bespoke help guides for each of the services who use our platform.

Our commitment to helping consumers make the most of our Mobile Billing services is enhanced by our simplified tools, allowing everyone to look up their transactions; and across Premium SMS, Short Codes or Direct Billing, obtain tailored, straightforward advice about the service provider and seek help with common issues such as password recovery.

On-the-fly translations make the new support website accessible to our consumers internationally, in addition to our usual password recovery.

If txtNation’s SD portal doesn’t have the answer, consumers can log a support ticket directly from their mobile device or contact our friendly support team by phone. The website can be accessed at sd.txtnation.com from any desktop, tablet or mobile browser, 24/7.

 

Consumers in focus.

We are one of the first providers to have a consumer support website optimised for mobile, allowing consumers to gain help wherever they are.

txtNation continues to focus on making mobile a great place to be and our Mobile Billing services would not be the same without the support of thousands of consumers around the world who continue to use services powered by our platform.

We strive to be the best and we would be delighted to hear from the companies who use our platform, as well as consumers themselves, whose feedback is invaluable to us as we improve our consumer support services.

sd-notebook

 A package of support. Help us help your customers.

Some of the service providers on our platform have their own consumer support, but many opt to use our dedicated support team and tools to ensure users are happy. If you use the txtNation platform, or plan to, please speak to us about all the options we have for supporting your users.

We have a duty to protect end users and so do you as a provider. We can help you help your customers and reduce the risk of regulatory intervention. Talk to us today for tailored advice, geared to your markets and budget.

 

If you do premium rate business in the UK, you will need to register with the regulator PhonepayPlus by September 1st 2011.

On that date, it will be mandatory to register your business for regulatory reasons. This is not optional. We will be monitoring all our clients doing premium traffic in the UK to ensure that they are registered.

It is essential that you take steps now to register if you have not already done so.

The good news is that registration is quick and easy, using an online form. There is a one-time cost of £80 +VAT to register. This rises to £100 +VAT on September 1st.

Once you register, please let our team know your registration number. Your txtNation service may be at risk if you fail to let us know. You can contact your account manager or our support team to do this. As always, we are here to advise you if you have any concerns or questions.

The registration ensures that all individuals and businesses involved in premium rate services involving UK consumers are transparent, trackable and responsible. This clarifies the relationship between service providers and information providers and their customers, removing grey areas and ensuring consistent communications.

Every individual and business (including but not limited to marketers, aggregators, mobile networks, billing providers) who supplies premium rate services of any kind, and at any stage of the value chain, to consumers who live in the United Kingdom, including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, must register with PhonepayPlus.

If you are an international client, based outside the UK, but who supplies such services to UK consumers, you must still register by September 1st 2011.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Clients are increasingly asking us about alternative methods of mobile payments to the well established ‘Premium SMS’, where a charge is settled via their monthly phone bill or pre-paid credit by sending or receiving an SMS message.

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