How to save traffic on GPRS payment terminals

In the past few years, bank’s acquiring networks are experiencing rapid growth of equipment getting installed, especially, payment terminals that are using wireless data links, for example, GSM/GPRS and as a result CDMA. It is obvious that you need to install SIM-card first in order to use a wireless interface.

That is our topic today: traffic solutions and precautions against possible illegal activities aimed at disruption of a SIM-card work.

Let’s figure out the following situation. User of the payment terminal extracts a SIM-card and starts using it in another device, for example in GSM/CDMA/LTE modem. It means the bank that installed the terminal bears additional communication costs. How to avoid this situation? There are plenty of ideas, namely:

1. Self-service payment

When concluding an acquiring contract, offer clients to pay the communication costs themselves. It is the most profitable option for a bank, but at the same time it never provides you with the needed availability when customers are being serviced at trade and service outlets, as there are plenty of situations when companies are not keeping an eye on the positive balance of the SIM-cards of their clients. It leads to a bank’s commission losses.

2. Connecting the APN service.

Connecting the Secure Data Transmission (APN) service on SIM-cards being exploited in POS-terminals equipment. Some mobile operator could provide this kind of service, which remotely secures the access to the company's information resources through packet data (GPRS) channels. In other words, the operator will provide secure wireless connection and operation control of remoted trade and service outlets, transports and company’s equipment for data exchange between each other.

In other words, device will use an alternative APN - AT+CGDCONT=1IP»,»TEST.APN» which provides access only to certain IP-addresses of the company. Such technological SIM-card provides only a targeted use, risks are minimal. But every coin does always have two sides. Bank must pay for the APN service for each telephone number about 1 $. It could have been cheaper.

3. M2M-Manager employment.

How do M2M-managers(machine-to-machine) control the use of funds on SIM-cards? Let’s take M2M solution from Vimpelcom as an example. One of its tasks is the optimization of costs (full control over traffic and the possibility of operational regulation). Let us dwell on its main functions:

  • Real time SIM-card management.
    Efficiency and maximal comfort provided through a special web-interface with the ability to change the status of your own SIM- cards and to set the parameters of their work at any time.
  • Prevention of any illegal activities.
    Protection against fraud by configuring the settings of the SIM-card and setting up a notification system.
  • Flexible end-user billing.
    The ability to create new business models and tariff plans for own users.
  • Traffic control and Diagnostics.
    Real time tracking of the costs and getting more information in case of technical problems.

Speaking frankly, it is not the whole specter of instruments, which are available for the customer. You are able to customize your SIM-card or group of SIM-cards according to the individual rules or create the necessary presets with settings. You can set the cash-threshold in order to be notified at the low values, set a lock for a traffic-limit or set plenty other parameters.

This service is rather expensive for operators. It is necessary to take into account the additional costs incurred by the bank. This is not the most economically justified way to manage SIM-cards.

4. Checking the PIN-code of the SIM-card as terminal gets switched on.

Payment terminal automatically checks the PIN of the card at its first inclusion. PIN is written in the payment terminal configuration, therefore, future using of this SIM-card outside of the terminal is not possible.

Presented solutions do spread widely in the technological aspects and in principles of construction, but all of them are presented in the world trade acquiring market.