An International Premium Rate Number is a telephone number used predominantly for payments - and less for communication reasons.
Like domestic 0900 Premium Rate Numbers, International Premium Rate Numbers are also used by the caller to pay for services rendered via the phone, online or TV. The difference is that domestic Premium Rate Numbers are used only within a specific country (i.e. Germany numbers only work within Germany), but international numbers work - well - internationally.
So, when are International Premium Rate Numbers used? Simple: for multinational or international advertising campaigns where it is impossible to show 60 different Domestic Premium Numbers on screen. One International Premium Number solves the problem.
Technically an International Premium Rate Number is a normal telephone number in a country with a high interconnection fee (which is usually expensive to call to). kwak Telecom makes an agreement with the national carrier or a mobile carrier to share the revenue coming from all such calls for selected numbers in that country. All calls arriving for these numbers are forwarded to our systems.
1. We assign a number to a service provider, say, a gaming company where players buy in-game items, virtual swords or whatever to enhance their gaming experience.
2. To pay, buyers have to call the International Premium Rate Number and hold the line open for a given time.
3. This generates revenue for the carrier which they share with us.
4. We share our part of the revenue with the service provider.
kwak Ventures helps increase kwak Telecom’s turnover for International Calls and International Premium Rate Numbers by speeding up payments.
Kwak Telecom accepts calls from international carriers (our clients) and sends these calls to TV-operators, gaming companies, etc (our suppliers). For this service our carrier clients pay us with a deadline of up to 45 days after the end of the month.
The suppliers expect payment within weeks – or in certain cases within days – so that they, in turn, can quickly reinvest their money on advertising using International Premium Rate Number services.
kwak Ventures solution is to pay the suppliers more quickly, encouraging them to feed more calls back into the system almost immediately.
By factoring this turnover kwak Telecom can so triple its revenue.
Suppliers are quite happy to accept a discount for this service.
kwak Telecom does not issue extended payment terms, so kwak Ventures takes on the risk of non-payment by clients (the carriers) by buying their accounts receivables, or I–Owe–You’s (IOUs), in plain English.
This is a factoring service normally offered by banks. However no normal bank would take on this factoring business, because the carriers are often based in countries like Zimbabwe or Somalia, where establishing creditworthiness is difficult, trying to reclaim debts takes forever, or the legal costs are prohibitive.
Because kwak Ventures shares the same offices as kwak Telecom we can make risk assessments a lot more accurately and quicker than any bank. In this we are assisted by specially developed risk-alert software, dedicated staff that carry out spot checks, as well as a carefully maintained policy of spreading our risks and not putting all our eggs in one carrier-basket. Thankfully no carrier has ever gone bankrupt on us.
Factoring can offer extremely lucrative returns for outside Investors of kwak Ventures.
On the Service Provider (supplier) side there are fraudsters, but at 1.5% this is considerably lower than industry averages.