Eskom Prepayment

Advantages Of XMLVend



Advantages For Utilities
  • Guaranteed industry-wide support and ownership since XMLVend was developed by industry, for industry

  • The XMLVend package includes validation tools that can be customised along with the Vending Server development.  This will provide an independent baseline for testing and approval of all future vending machines as well as for subsequent enhancements to the Server.  This function can then be performed directly by the Utility to approve vending equipment and identify any potential areas of non-compliance. It can therefore ensure that all vending systems meet a common and acceptable level of performance.

  • XMLVend provides a common communication interface that does not require specialist knowledge of prepayment, only generally available web based programming skills are required to develop Vending Clients. Therefore many potential suppliers of Vending Clients and Vending Services are available in industry. This will enhance choice and competition.

  • While it is recommended that the developer of the Vending Server is contracted for ongoing support of the  Server, other dependencies on the server developer are reduced or removed for the supply and maintenance of Vending Clients and vending services.

  • XMLVend is platform independent and can be implemented on many different types of hardware devices; from Cell phone based terminals, PCs with many different operating systems, and also imbedded applications in other business systems like ATMs or grocery chain store till points.  All such designs can be implemented by various manufacturers of Client devices without requiring any modification on the Server.

  • XMLVend is designed to provide mechanisms for transaction control even with suspect or faulty clients that may attempt to exploit the system.  Design philosophies of the protocol are based on incentives for Vendors to adhere to the designed processes.

  • The Object oriented design allows a Utility to customise XMLVend to cater for the specific needs of the Utility while still remaining easy to support by many Client developers.



Advantages For Manufacturers

  • It is expected that many Utilities will adopt XMLVend which means that there will be many opportunities to provide vending equipment and vending services from a single common standard

  • The XMLVend package includes validation tools to be customised along with the Vending Server development. This will provide an independent baseline for testing and approval of all Vending Clients and the customised test suite should be freely available to potential Client developers to assist with their development and support efforts. It also means that vending equipment developers only need to deal with the Utility instead of with competing developers or the server developer in case of problems or incompatibilities.

  • The object oriented design and extensibility of XMLVend allow a Client developer to easily enhance Clients for the specific needs of the Utility without requiring a total re-design of existing equipment.

  • XMLVend is platform independent and can be implemented on many different types of hardware devices; from Cell phone based terminals, PCs with many different operating systems, and also imbedded applications in other business systems like ATMs or grocery chain store till points. 

  • It is further possible to extend the functionality of any server by simply attaching specialised Clients. For example: Special remote communication STS meters can easily be supported from a custom Client machine that still communicates to the Server via the standard XMLVend protocol but transmits vending tokens directly to the meter via the meter's proprietary communication channels like RF, SMS, smart card etc.  This can all be done without additional security modules or any special knowledge of STS.

  • Vending Client hardware can now be more generic and a Utility can easily enable/disable specific functionality for a Client from the Server. This means there is now more possibility for additional Clients and also for some clients with specialised functionality. One example might be a Client that automatically creates FBE tokens for registered customers every month and SMS the tokens to customers with cell phones.