Some phone bill payment software systems are said to be ‘good’. Some other phone bill payment systems are said to be ‘bad’. The question that arises, in a software designer’s mind, is as to what distinguishes the ‘good’ phone bill payment systems from the ones that are said to be ‘bad’. And that is the question we will be attempting to answer in this article. You will definitely find this information useful if you are involved in phone bill payment software development. Based on this information, you will get an idea as to how you need to design the phone bill payment software, so as to get it to be regarded as a ‘good’ solution. You will also get an idea as to what you need to avoid, while designing phone bill payment software, so as to ensure that your solution doesn’t fall into the category of ‘bad’ systems.
Without any further ado, the features of good phone bill payment software include:
So, to put it simply, the best phone bill payment software is that which is easy to use. This is mainly a question of the interface between the software and the end user. With regard to that interface, we find that the best phone bill payment software is that which is not ‘intimidating’ to the end-user. The screens through which the user interacts with the software are not cluttered. And the software asks for just enough information to process transactions… The software is therefore perceived as ‘easy to use’ by the customers who make payments through it. It is also perceived as ‘easy to use’ by the staff who have to interact it: for instance, the people who have to audit transactions through the system.
The best phone bill payment system is that which is able to handle user errors in a good way. It is ‘forgiving’ — knowing that users are bound to make errors. And it is designed in a manner that makes it fast – meaning that it doesn’t keep on hanging in between transactions and frustrating users.
To put it another way, the best phone bill payment software is designed with the end-user in mind. In designing such software, the developer thinks of common mistakes that the end-user is likely to make while using the software, and provides ways to mitigate those mistakes. The end user also thinks of challenges that the end-user is likely to encounter while using the software, and then provides help to tackle such challenges. So the software is centered around the end-user, and the developer is willing to do many more lines of code, if that is what it takes to includes features to make life easier for the users of the software.
Effectiveness and Efficiency
The best phone bill payment software is effective (and efficient) at the role it is supposed to serve. It is, in simple terms, effective and efficient at facilitating the payment of phone bills. It is designed with the various scenarios that are likely to arise (in the course of phone bill payments) in mind. It has mechanisms to deal even with unique scenarios. Due to this effectiveness and efficiency, the people who use the software find that it is indeed rather easy to to pay phone bills through it. This is as opposed to what is regarded as poor/bad phone bill payment software: which at times brings so many complications that one just wishes they were doing the payments manually.
The best phone bill payment software is capable of being used on a wide range of platforms. In other words, it is capable of functioning well, regardless of the hardware of operating system platform it is used on. This is an important feature, knowing that the people who will be trying to pay their phone bills will be doing so through a huge variety of platforms. In actual fact, you have no control over the platforms that people will be using to pay their phone bills through, using the software. So the most important thing is to have a versatile system, which can work well with whatever platform the customers use to pay their bills. See, you may have someone using a desktop machine to pay his phone bill through the system. You may have another individual using a smart-phone, or just an internet-enabled mobile phone, to pay his phone bill through the system. You may have someone using Linux, another person using Windows, and yet another one using the Mac-OS… So you need to ensure that the bill payment system is capable of working well, regardless of the platform used.
With regard to versatility, there is also the aspect of seeing to it that the phone bill payment system can integrate well with the other software systems used in the phone company. So, for instance, if the folks at the accounts department want to import data from the phone bill payment system, it should be possible for them to do so with ease. So you need to avoid the situation where data from the phone bill payment system would have to re-entered manually – on account of it being impossible to import such data (due to lack of versatility).
In this regard, the best phone bill payment system needs to be capable of expanding, in line with the phone company’s needs. So the idea here is to avoid a situation where, when the phone company’s operations reach a certain level, the bill payment system proves incapable of coping with further growth. So this would mean that the phone company would have to invest in a brand new system, and then have the data from the old system imported (or re-entered manually) – a costly affair. It therefore becomes critical for a phone company to ensure that it has a scalable bill payment solution right from the outset. This is particularly important knowing that at times (and in certain markets), a phone company’s scale of operations can grow much faster than was initially anticipated.
The code on which the phone bill payment software is based needs to be clean, clear and backed by helpful comments. The latter would be to help people who may be given the task of maintaining it in the future. What you want to avoid here is a system that can’t be maintained/updated in the future. We have seen code that is so ‘dirty’ that only the person who initially wrote it can understand it and maintain it. So that is what you need to avoid, by going for a phone bill payment system that can be understood and maintained by anyone with the relevant expertise.