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Telecoms operators fear more revenue leakages as new tech emerges – KPMG

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The coming data explosion including the shift to mobile commerce (m-commerce) services and other transformative technologies is expected to have a big impact on revenue leakage among the world’s major telecommunications companies, according to a new survey conducted by KPMG International.

KPMG’s second Global Revenue Assurance (RA) survey titled “Entering a new era for revenue assurance,” revealed that 94% of telecoms operators surveyed expect “revenue leakage to increase as a result of these rapidly emerging technology trends” and nearly half believe the impact will be significant.

This conclusion was made when the KPMG surveyed 137 executives from telecommunications companies in 62 countries spanning Africa and the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas.

“New independent revenue streams and the associated network and billing systems for these services will be a chief source of leakage according to respondents. Those areas most vulnerable to leakage and fraud are the revenue streams with the largest volume of payments including prepaid, roaming and postpaid plans,” said KPMG in a statement after releasing the survey results late March 2012.

Seventy-four percent of respondents surveyed by the auditing firm said the transformation to m-commerce such as mobile banking is the trend most likely to impact the telecoms industry, followed closely by converged services (71%).

KPMG said 20% of telecoms operators admitted they are currently reporting revenue leakages of up to 10%. “As a percent of revenue, leakages in Africa and the Middle East are highest with 32% reporting losses of between 1 and 10% of revenue, and 18% reporting losses greater than 10%,” it added.

“The pressure on the revenue assurance function to detect and prevent leakages and recover losses has never been greater,” said Romal Shetty, KPMG’s Head of Telecommunications in India and a Partner in the Indian firm.

KPMG urged for more revenue assurance role that can have broader scope and board-level presence which according to the auditing firm, only 21% currently report directly to the board.

By Ekow Quandzie

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