Creating Balances for Accounts

You can create Balances for your end customer Accounts. Customers can then draw-down against their Balance amount for any charges due for consuming your service throughout the period the Balance is active for their Account. You can include options to top-up the original Balance.

Using Balances for end customer Accounts delivers other benefits, for example:

  • Onboarding Balance/Free Trials. You can offer an onboarding incentive to new customers by way of an initial free credit Balance on their Account to be used within a set timeframe but which carries no further commitment. This can encourage customers to start using your service by drawing down against the Balance, and increases the likelihood they will sign-up as a fully onboarded customer.

  • Balance as initial commitment. Add a Balance amount to a new customer Account to act as an initial commitment, which allows them to start using the service and gain an accurate insight into their usage level. You can then have a well-informed discussion with them about the most suitable usage-based pricing contract to suit their usage level.

  • Managing Customer Satisfaction. Use Balance as credits that will be applied to subsequent Bills as compensation for acknowledged service delivery issues, rather than using credit notes.

  • Facilitating Balance Adjustments:

    • Apply negative amounts to immediately write-off outstanding Balances.

    • When setting up to migrate data into the m3ter service create a Balance total, which you can then adjust to accurately reflect the Balance at the precise cut-over date.

You can create Balances for an end customer Account in the Console from the Account details page. You can then add Transaction amounts to Balances to manage the amount available for drawing-down against charges due on the Account for billing purposes.

This topic explains how to create Balances for Account and how to charges are drawn down against Balance amounts for billing purposes:

Tip: Note on Terminology? Balances, Credits, and Prepaid Drawdown, are all terms used to describe the addition of funds to an end customer Account in m3ter.

Tip: API Calls for Balances? We maintain a full set of API calls to create and manage Balances for your end customer Accounts - see the Balances section in our API Ref Docs.

Creating and Managing Account Balances

You can create Balances for your end customer Accounts in m3ter directly from the Account details page. You can then add Transactions for the Balance on the Balance details page.

Creating a Balance on an Account

To create a Balance for an Account:

1. Select Accounts. The Accounts page opens.

2. Select the Name text of the Account for which you want to create a Prepayment. The Account details page opens with the Overview tab selected.

3. Select the Balances tab. Any existing Balances created for the Account are listed on the Balances panel.

4. Select Create Balance. The Create Page opens.

5. Enter the details of the new Balance:

  • Name. Enter a name for the Balance..

  • Code. Enter a code for the Balance

  • Description. Enter a description for the Balance.

  • Currency. Use the drop-down list to select the currency you want to use for the Balance.

  • Start date (inclusive) and End date (exclusive). Use the calendar pop-ups to set start and end dates/times to define the time period the Balance will be active for the Account.

  • Balance draw-down description. Enter a text that will appear against Bill line items for usage draw-down charges against the Balance. (Optional)

  • Rollover amount. If the charges drawn-down against the Balance during the period the Balance is active for the Account don't exhaust the Balance, you can have whatever remains of the Balance rollover. This means charges continue to be drawn-down against the unused amount beyond the active end date set for the Balance.

    • If you want to enter a cap on any rollover amount used for a rollover or grace period, enter the amount here.

    • You'll need to enter a Rollover end date also to enable the rollover/grace period - if you only enter an amount for rollover without entering an end date, you'll receive an error when you try to save the Balance.

  • Rollover end date. If you want to allow a rollover or grace period where any unused Balance amount continues to be drawn-down against charges due after the defined active end date, then use the pop-up calendar to define an end date for the rollover or grace period.

Note: Rollover on Balance not required? If you don't want a rollover on a Balance, simply leave Rollover amount and Rollover end date blank.

6. Select Create Balance. You are returned to the Balances tab on the Account details page and the new Balance in listed on the Balances panel. The Balance Amount shows as zero and you'll now have to create Transactions for the Balance.

Creating Transactions for a Balance

When you've created a Balance for an end customer Account, you can then create Transactions for the Balance to flexibly manage and maintain the Balance amount your customer has available to be drawn-down against any usage or other charges due for the period the Balance is active for the Account - and possibly for longer if you choose to allow rollovers on the Balance amount.

Before you can create a Transaction for a Balance on an Account, you must first set up Transaction Types for your Organization - see Creating Transaction Types in the Managing your Organization topic,

To create a Transaction for a Balance:

1. Select Accounts. The Accounts page opens.

2. Select the Name text of the Account for which you want to add a Transaction to a Balance. The Account details page opens with the Overview tab selected.

3. Select the Balances tab.

4. Select the name text of the Balance you want to create a Transaction for. The Balance details page opens. The Transactions panel list any Transactions that have been created for the Balance.

5. On the Transactions panel, select Create transaction. The Create page opens.

6. Enter the details of the Transaction:

  • Transaction Type. Use the drop-down to select the Transaction Type.

  • Description. A description for the Transaction. (Optional)

  • Amount. The amount of the Transaction.

7. If the amount paid differs from the Transaction or the currency of payment differs from the currency defined for the Balance you can optionally use the Paid panel to enter:

  • Currency. The currency in which payment was made.

  • Amount. The payment amount.

This allows you to record the fact that an end customer has been credited for a Balance amount using another currency/amount. For example, you might credit an end customer in the amount of 200 USD for a payment they've made in virtual currency credits of X amount.

8. Select Create. You are returned to the Balance details page where the new Transaction has been added to the Balance.

9. If you want to add further Transactions of different types to a Balance, repeat steps 5 to 8:

In this example, we've created two Transactions of different types to a Balance on an Account:

  • Under Description on the Transactions panel are shown:

    • The Transaction Type, which for the first Transaction is Sign-up Credit.

    • The description entered for the specific Transaction of that type, which in this case is Sign-up bonus credit.

  • The sum of Transaction amounts is shown for the Balance as the available amount for draw-down against usage and other charges due for the Balance active period.

The Transactions panel provides a ledger showing credit and debit Transactions for the Balance, including billed amounts drawn-down against the Balance:

  • We can see in this example that a Transaction came on to the ledger as SOURCE = Bill when calculated for the Account on December 21st 2022, and this resulted in the total Balance amount being drawn-down against the calculated Bill amount due. You can then select the Bill hotlink text to review the Bill in detail if required under Bill Management:

Understanding Charges Draw-Down Against Balances for Billing

When you create Balances for an end customer Account, it's important to know how the Balance amounts are handled for billing purposes:

  • A Balance amount on an Account will be applied to Bills that contain any of the following charge types:

    • Usage

    • Standing Charge

    • Minimum Spend

  • For billing purposes, usage, standing charges, or minimum spend on an Account with a Balance can only be drawn-down against the Balance amount for the period the Balance is active for the Account.

    • Importantly, note that if you create a Balance on an Account and the Balance is active for only part of the normal billing period set up for the Account, then only the charges for usage, standing charge, or minimum spend that are due for the period the Balance is active will be drawn down against the Balance, not charges due for the entire normal billing period for the Account

    • You can also optionally define a rollover or grace period, with a restricted rollover amount specified, to allow any unused Balance amounts to continue to be drawn-down against for billing purposes beyond the defined active period for the Balance.

  • When applied to a Bill, the Balance amount will be drawn down until it is fully consumed.  If the Balance amount is greater than the Bill amount and the Balance remains active for some or all of the next billing period, the remaining Balance amount will be applied to subsequent bills.

  • Each Transaction that makes up the Balance, for example, an addition of credit, consumption of credit against a Bill, or adjustment of credit, are all recorded against a ledger, so that a complete record of all Transaction movements is known.

    • For Balances, the Transactions panel on a Balance detail pages acts as a ledger. For example, if a Bill draws-down against a Balance for charges due on the Account during the Balance active period, then this will automatically show as a Bill Transaction with a link out to view the Bill.

The following diagrams illustrate how the effective period for charges draw-down against Balance amounts on an Account are determined for billing purposes:

  • Active Balance Period by Date. No rollover or grace periods for consuming the Balance amount defined:

  • Active Balance Period by Date with Grace Periods. Rollover periods defined for consuming the Balance amount:

  • Active Balance Period by Date/Time. No rollover or grace periods defined for consuming the Balance amount:

Note that the end date/time is exclusive to the second, meaning that in this example the Balance amount can be used for draw-down against charges due up to and including 11:59:59 on 30th June.

Next: Submitting Usage Data for an Account