2.1) Like making a regular telephone call
Phone cards are very simple to use because
it is just like making a regular phone call. The only difference
is that there are two extra steps. First, you must dial one of the
access numbers for your phone card. This allows you to perform the
second step which is to enter your pin number. The final step is
to dial your destination number.
2.2) Major players
1) Service Carriers
Service carriers are the companies that actually
own the telephone lines and make some of the rules on how to use
their phone cards.
Resellers are the companies that buy the
minutes from the carriers and distribute the minutes to phone
card issuers and make any additional phone card usage rules.
Phone card issuers are the companies that
set the rates for a particular phone card and provide the access
numbers to use the phone card.
4) Distributors - distribute phone cards
Phone card distributors purchase the phone
cards in bulk quantities and distribute them to phone card retailers.
5) Retailers - sell phone cards to customers
Phone card retailers purchase the phone cards
and sell them directly to customers.
Rates are the prices associated with a phone
card. Each phone card has its own rate table. The rate table states
the price per minute for each destination location available to
the phone card.
2) Expiration date
The expiration date is the how long the card
can be used. Most phone cards expire after 60 - 90 days.
3) PIN numbers
PIN numbers are the unique identifiers that
allow you to make your phone calls. It also keeps a record of
the calls you made and the appropriate amount to deduct from the
balance on your phone card.
4) Access Numbers
Access numbers are special telephone numbers
that must be dialed in order to use your phone card. There are
two types of access numbers. First, local access numbers are phone
numbers in your area and provide cheaper rates which give you
more minutes for your phone card. Second, toll free access numbers
are numbers that start like 1-800, 1-888, 1-877, etc. These numbers
have a slightly higher rate than local access numbers, but they
are more reliable and less frequently has busy signals.