Design And Development Of An E-Billing System

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering


Abstract


The project is to create an application that should provide service to the user, collect user usage records, and generate invoices of each credit expire, each billing cycle depends on the billing type, collect payments and adjust customers’ balances.

The e-Billing system has the capacity to illustrate and analyze the basic billing system and the main functionalities that surround the billing system from a business prospective and explains how each interacts to complete the billing cycle.

Also, development of a billing system emulator that is capable of can billing more quickly, accurately and update customer record and enables customer to view bill information.

This Billing system can be deployed in a real world situation. For example, it could be implemented for a telecommunication company to have effective billing of the customer and it could also be deployed as contractor to already existing networks.

Hopefully, at the end of the day the program will be able to satisfied the under listed objectives that would bridge the gap on short coming in the billing system

1. Services:

Service is the entity offered by the company and targeted to the customers.

2. Accounts:

The customer account includes customer contact profile information, account type, login information, and payment method

3. Ratings:

Rating is the process of converting usage records from one form to another, like converting usage units to its cost.

4. Payments:

Each customer in the system has an account balance, which affects any invoices requested by the customer and any payments done by the customer.

5. Invoices:

It is the entity generated by the billing system to inform the customer that he must pay for his service usage or ordering


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

E-billing is the delivery of electronic bills to end consumers (B2C) and providing a payment option for them [1] and it can simply be explained as a technology which enables the replacement of paper with electronic documents delivered through email or a website [8].

Telecommunication Billing is a process of collecting credit usage, aggregating it, applying required charges and finally generating invoices for the customers.Telecom Billing process also includes receiving and recording payments from the customers.[2]The billing process involves receiving billing records from various networks, determining the billing rates associated with the billing records, calculating the cost for each billing record, aggregating these records periodically to generate invoices, sending invoices to the customer, and collecting payments received from the customer[2].


1.1 Background Information

What is the billing system?

The billing systems process the usage of network equipment that is used during the service usage into a single Call Detail Record (CDR) [1]. In GSM 1900, traditionally in North America, the mobile user pays for both incoming and outgoing calls. The reason being that one subscriber cannot tell if the other subscriber is a mobile subscriber because of the American integrated numbering plan [2]. GSM specifications do not govern tariffs or packages because each operator decides this. This project will be focusing on billing system and the main difference between common and basic billing system usually used in telecommunication. It will involve analyzing the basic billing system from a management and business point of view and describing the basic functionalities.

We can divide the system into five parts as follows [1]:

1. Services:

Service is the entity offered by the company and targeted to the customers.

2. Accounts:

The customer account includes customer contact profile information, account type, login information, and payment method

3. Ratings:

Rating is the process of converting usage records from one form to another, like converting usage units to its cost.

4. Payments:

Each customer in the system has an account balance, which affects any invoices requested by the customer and any payments done by the customer.

5. Invoices:

It is the entity generated by the billing system to inform the customer that he must pay for his service usage or ordering.


1.3 Statements Of Problem

Overcharging:

In telecommunication, the billing system is a very sensitive part and it is faced with a lot of challenges like the overcharging which makes customers/ users complain. This problem may arise from the rating , that is rate given to each call lines and the time by the inaccuracy of the billing system

Poor customer service:

Most of the billing systems have poor customer service thereby not given room for customer complaint and attention to their complaints therefore, a Report Generation system will be developed for the user and management of eBilling and Invoicing System. This system will have both details and summary type reports for analysis of the data calculated.

Security and Simplicity:

Customer, Products, and Billing Generation i.e. it will Automate the current manual bill generation system and maintain the searchable customer, charge database and charge invoice, maintain the data security, user rights.


1.3 Aims And Objectives

The aim of this project is to create an application that should provide service to the user, collect user usage records, and generate invoices of each credit expire, each billing cycle depends on the billing type, collect payments and adjust customers’ balances.

The main objectives of the project are:

  1. To illustrate and analyze the basic billing system and the main functionalities that surround the billing system from a business prospective and explains how each interacts to complete the billing cycle.
  2. To develop a billing system emulator that can bill more quickly and accurately.
  3. To update customer record
  4. To develop a billing system that enables customer to view bill information.

1.4 Methodology

Visual basic.Net was used for the implementation of this e-billing system and invoice emulator, which is one of the latest programming software used now with modern features and it helps users to view the Graphic user interface (GUI). Microsoft access was used for the backend to store customer database which include their respective details:

  • Front end: Visual basic.NET
  • Back end: Microsoft access

Visual Basic Used For The Project

Visual basic is a programming language that translates an abstract idea into a program design we can see on screens. Visual basic presents a three-step approach for creating programs which are:

  1. To design the appearance of the application.
  2. Assign property settings to the objects of your program.
  3. Write the code to direct specific tasks at runtime.

The advantages of Visual Basic [18]:


1.5 Scope Of The Project

This study is primarily designed

  1. Give details information about Nigeria Telecommunication Plc’s way of preparing bills.
  2. Highlights the effective and reliability of using computer in billing process.
  3. Make research on how computer can be applied to billing system in Nigeria telecommunication Plc.
  4. Examine the possible problems that can arise as a result of using manual in billing system.

1.6 Limitation Of The Project

The limitation of this new system is highly recommended for the aid of billing customers that are patronizing the NITEL Plc Ibadan for goods and services of bill processing, this system will enhance effective billing system to help the management to achieve their aims and objectives.


1.7 Definition Of The Terms

i. Voice Mail:

A telephone number that answer call and serve as message processing centre.

ii. Call Answering Machine:

Call recording machine are the conventional auxiliary equipment that are attached to telephone sets to answer calls and record message.

iii. Pay Phone:

In this case the subscriber pays after the service had been rendered. The credit is pat in other to dial any where.

iv. Private Wives:

These are the wires seen outside the street. They lead from the exchange room to the external world.

v. Telex Facility:

Telex is an international telegraphy service using teleprinters.

vi. Broadcasting:

This allows the program to be seen in all the areas of the world using microwaves.

vii. Direct Inward Dealing Facility (D.D):

This is an inward dialing telephone service that can be connected to PABX or PBX.

viii. Packet Switch Data Network:

This is a specialized data transfer service. The dedicated link can be provided national or between two or more countries.

Services Render To The Public By Nigeria Telecommunication

The Nigeria Telecommunication deals mainly with internal and external communication. It provide several other services like:

1. Telephoning:

Telephone is an instrument for speaking to a person at a distance using an electric current which travel along a wire or using radio waves. Telephone call connects two telephone users at different ends.

2. Broadcasting:

This allows the program to be seen in all the area of the world using microwaves. The signal will be transmitted to the external world where by people can have chance to see it. There is carrier room where frequency is allocated of each broadcasting corporation where by broadcasting can be done through microwaves signally system.

3. Pay Phone:

In this case the customer pays after the services had been rendered. The credit card is put to dial anywhere.

4. Private Wire:

These are the wire seen outside the street. They lead from the exchange room to the external world.

5. Telax Facility:

Telex is the international telegraph services using teleprinter.

6. Telegraph:

Telegraph is a system for sending message to a system using wires and electricity. Messages sent by telegraph are usually short, brief and precise.

7. Direct inward Dialing Facility (DID):

This is an inward dialing telephone service that can be connected to PABX (Private Automatic Branch Exchange) or PBX (Private Branch Exchange) only. It facilitates immediate response to telephone calls without any operator’s assistance.


Chapter Seven


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

Summary

Since the introduction of the first computer, it has been seen that computer system is a powered tools which can store, retrieve, manipulate and process data, which gives the result in a meaningful form to the user that help them in their personal battle for survival. However, then is no aspect of human endeavour that the use of computer can be ignored, this prompt the researchers to take a look into the computerized billing system for NITEL PLC company Ibadan have many problems or error as a result of manual method of data processing such problem include: lack of adequate data security, in accurate data processing and lost of file and records. However, as a result of all the above listed problems, individual, have access to the database of each worker thereby after a modify the database to suite their needs. But in this ear, all the aforementioned obstacles have been sated for thereby reduce the accessibility of workers to the billing sector of the company. A well package was developed which requires password to get access to the main menus, this restrict number of users and at the same time keeps the store data secured.
To crown it all the management of NITEL PLC Ibadan will find the package interacting when embarking on its usage because it provision them with correction of their problems using manual method of data processing.


Conclusion

The use of computer ion preparing bills, which has been previously discussed in this project. Will enhance accuracy in commercial business such as Nigeria Telecommunication PLC (NITEL) Nigeria Ports Plc. etc. all business or organization that deals with preparation of bills to the customers should try to use computer so as to make it easier, faster and time saved.

The introduction of computer in business organization such as NITEL PLC has brought immensely improvement to the organization of maintaining high level of efficiency in bill preparation for customers in the company.
Finally, the use of computer has minimized the fraudness and inefficiency that can lead to the liquidation of an organization.


Recommendation

In as much as computer could create job opportunity for people, help to reduce fraud and other. Mal-practices in business organization.

I would recommend that business firms and other organization should engage in use of computer preparing bills and any other operations performed in their establishment because it has an edge over the manual method of preparing bills.


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