APPENDIX A. Configuration parameters for IVR applications

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Prepaid card calling

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Field

Description

Authentication

ANI authentication

If this option is turned on, the IVR application will attempt to authenticate the customer’s phone number (ANI). If authentication is successful, the IVR does not ask for a PIN.

Use ANI and auth code

This feature enables service for enterprise customers when multiple individuals place outgoing calls using the same caller number (typically from the company’s main phone line).

The IVR application finds the customer’s phone number (ANI) and his company ID (in this account’s associated number field) and collects the user’s Authentication Code. The call is then authorized and billed to the account with an ID consisting of a company ID followed by the # sign and the authentication code, e.g., 534564#555.

Minimum auth code length

The minimum number of characters the authentication code consists of. By default: 4.

Maximum auth code length

The maximum number of characters the authentication code consists of. By default: 4.

Manual authentication

If ANI authentication is disabled or fails for some reason, users will still be able to authenticate their identities by using their PIN numbers when this option is enabled.

Maximum login attempts

The maximum number of attempts for a user to enter a card number. By default: 3.

Auto registration

If the user’s ANI is not found and PIN authentication is successful, the user will be prompted to register his ANI for future PINless dialing. If the user confirms, the ANI number he is calling from is added as an alias to his account. The next time a call is made from that phone number, it will be authenticated by the ANI and he will not be asked to enter a PIN number.

Register without confirmation

When this option is enabled, the IVR will not ask for confirmation before registering a user’s ANI for future PINless dialing. This option is available only when the Auto registration option is selected.

Check service password

Use this option to increase the security of a PIN-less dialing service or to allow end users to input their “ANI numbers” confirmed by service passwords for PIN authentication:

  • None

    • For ANI authentication – the IVR application will never prompt the user for their service password after successful authentication by ANI.

    • For PIN authentication – it will be successful only if the user’s account doesn’t have a service password specified. This is a common use case for prepaid card services.

  • Always

    • For ANI authentication – the IVR application will always prompt the user for their service password.

    • For PIN authentication – the IVR application will prompt the user for their service password as long as the password is defined.

  • Only PIN

    • For ANI authentication – the IVR application will never prompt the user for their service password. This is a common use case for ANI services.

    • For PIN authentication – the IVR application will prompt the user for their service password as long as the password is defined.

  • Only ANI

    • For ANI authentication – the IVR application will always prompt the user for their service password.

    • For PIN authentication – it will be successful only if the user’s account doesn’t have any service password defined. This is a common use case for PIN services.

For example, in case of the Always or Only ANI options, the IVR will do the following: upon collecting an ANI number, the IVR prompts the user for their password and uses it for account validation (the password provided must match the account’s service password).

If the account has an empty service password field, any user input will match it.

Minimum password length

A minimum number of characters the valid service password consists of. By default: 4.

Maximum password length

A maximum number of characters the valid service password consists of. By default: 4.

Authorization

Disconnect call before, sec

The call can be disconnected before an account’s balance is actually depleted. Specify in seconds (till the calculated end of the call) when to disconnect the call.

Dynamic reauthorization

Enable this feature to perform dynamic reauthorization for calls made through this access number. Dynamic reauthorization is required in cases where an account is concurrently using multiple services and making a payment while the session is still in progress.

Please consult the Overdraft Protection section in the PortaBilling Administrator Guide for more information.

Restrict calls for accounts with low balance

  • When account balance is less than product breakage and disconnect is defined, IVR plays the “you have insufficient funds” voice prompt and disconnects the call.

  • If no outgoing calls is defined, IVR prompts for the destination number but gives a busy tone and drops the call immediately after dialing it.

Option none disables this feature.

Accounting

Separate incoming leg cost

This option allows you to set separate prices for outgoing (a call to a destination number) and incoming (a call to an access number) call legs.

Rate by

This specifies which number should be used for charging an incoming call leg. Available options are: CLI, CLD.

Incoming access code prefix 

This option allows you to define an access code value (e.g., IN) and therefore charge users according to one tariff for incoming calls to access numbers. To make this happen, add this value as an Access code (e.g., IN) for the product’s rating entry.

Charge the incoming leg for idle time

Idle Time is the period that begins from launching the IVR application until the call is connected to its destination including the periods between several outgoing calls.

The default value is enabled, meaning that PortaBilling includes idle time within the cost for an incoming call leg. To exclude idle time from the cost of an incoming call leg, disable the option. Once disabled, the length of the incoming call leg will be equal to the sum of the outgoing call length and be charged accordingly.

No charge if call is not connected

If this option is set, the caller will not be charged for an incoming call leg if the outgoing call is not connected.

Use fixed access code for first calls

This option specifies the special access code format that must be applied for the first outgoing call with prepaid cards.

  • If this option is enabled, then the “FIRSTCALL” access code will be used.

If this option is disabled, then the “FIRST#12345” access code will be used, where 12345 is the access number dialed.

Use special access code for first calls

If this option is enabled, a special tariff will be used for the first outgoing call made by users with prepaid cards. This tariff should be associated with the appropriate access code in the product’s Services and Rating list.

This access code depends on the Use fixed access code for first calls option.

Grouping access code prefix

This option allows you to group multiple access numbers under one access code value (e.g., LOCAL) and therefore charge users according to one tariff for outgoing calls to destination numbers via any of the access numbers. To make this happen, add this value as an Access code value (e.g., LOCAL) for the product’s rating entry.

Translation rules

ANI translation rule

If ANI authentication is turned on, the voice application will attempt to authenticate the customer’s phone number (so he does not have to enter a PIN). Unfortunately, caller identification (ANI or CLI number) is usually delivered in the “local” format, without the country code, etc., e.g., “021234567.” In this case, you need to translate the number into a unified format so it will match the ID of the billing account. The recommended format is a non-numeric prefix followed by an E164 number.

For example, assuming that the country code is 44, we can apply ANI Translation Rule s/^0/ani44/ to obtain “ani4421234567” as the authorization ID.

This allows you to manage numbers from different countries (so they will not overlap) and the “ANI” prefix will ensure that these accounts are not confused with the actual phone numbers provisioned for on IP phones.

PIN translation rule

When the Check service password option is enabled and the PIN translation rule is set, the IVR application modifies the collected PIN according to the PIN translation rule that allows the use of an ANI-based account (for example, ani442031234567) for PIN authentication.

This provides your end users, normally identified by caller IDs (ANI/CLI), with the option of making calls from other phone numbers without having to input hard-to-remember PIN numbers.

Minimum card length

Minimum length of a card number. By default: 11.

Maximum card length

Maximum length of a card number. By default: 11.

Prompts & notifications

Credit accounts balance announcement

You can configure your IVR applications to announce the current balance for credit accounts in one of two modes:

  • Funds/balance – for prepaid customers (those who have a credit limit of 0 or less), announce “available funds” (calculated as credit limit minus balance) and announce the current balance for others (postpaid customers);

  • Balance – always announce balance (this is the classic mode, ideal for typical postpaid customers).

  • Note that a third Backward compatibility mode is enabled by default. It preserves the announcements exactly the way they worked in releases prior to MR35.

In APPENDIX C. Balance announcements, there are balance announcement examples for different IVR configurations.

Announce credit limit

If this option is enabled, the balance announced to the end user will be followed by an announcement of the credit limit.

This allows you to separate cases where credit limits are assigned only as a precaution (and so the end user should not really know about them) from cases where they are an integral part of the service (e.g., loyal customers are rewarded with an increased credit limit the longer they stay with you).

Play pre-ring MOH

By default, the calling party hears a ringtone while waiting until the remote party answers. You may want to replace the ringtone with music on hold (MOH).

Select this checkbox to allow IVR to play a special MOH ring when the call has already been placed but the ring signal has not yet been received.

Play welcome message

If enabled, the IVR will play the welcome message to the user once he reaches an access number.

Disconnection warning

Disconnection warning interval, sec

This feature allows you to provide a warning when a call is about to be disconnected because of insufficient funds. This ensures that the customer has a sufficient amount of time to react and either finish the call or top up their balance.

Repeat every, sec

This feature allows you to provide multiple warnings before a call is disconnected because of insufficient funds. In this case, IVR repeats the warning every specified number of seconds until the end of the call.

These warnings help your customers to estimate whether there is enough time to finish their conversation or not, or if necessary, to top up their balance.

Type of disconnection warning

Choose one of the following warning types:

  • beep – plays “beeping” sound.

  • voice