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Online Prepayment Vending System

1 An Executive Summary of the Technica
1.1 Scope
According to requirements for Prepayment System, Hexcell is offering a total solution for power vending. This includes:
1.Multiple Vending including CDU, M-POS, UUSD, Third party vending;
2.Data analysis and Statistic;
3.Prepayment management;
4.Reports management;
5.Interface with Billing Systems;
6.Interface with other system for third party vending, such as E-Bank System, ATM System, Scratch Card system etc.
7.System implementation and Training;
The above strategy can provide the following advantages:
1.Easy Vending.
2.Improving revenue recovery.
3.Introducing state-of-the-art technology and modern management systems
1.2 System Overview
Hexcell provides utilities a superior prepayment vending system, which features high flexibility and enhanced versatility. The system is designed to support in all aspects of electricity vending, revenue collection and customer management to suit growing needs of global market. It uses distributed and true browser‐server network, comprising two main parts: 
 1.Central system server (System Master Station, SMS);
 2.Vending station (Credit Dispensing Unit, CDU);
The system is Windows‐based and makes use of Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) on the existing Internet infrastructure.
1.3 System feature
1.3.1 International standard comply 
The system is a multi-user multi - operating system catering multi-users’ requirement. The operating system is Windows2008 according to the standards IEEE and OSF; both SQL query language and C/C++ language are used as database access language in accordance with protocol ANSI. The network communication protocol is using TCP/IP protocol. 
Hexcell Online Prepayment Vending system is the outcome of rich system experience. The system software is user – friendly and interactive. All the interface and operation process are developed based on user – friendly and facilitate user concept. All analysis result can be direct-viewing with great convenience
The software is modular with appropriate set of menus to perform the pertinent functions. 
The operation interface is using secondary menu to facilitate operation
1.3.2 Distributed Network Architecture 
The distributed network architecture is using Client/Server model and with following features: high-efficiency running, fast response speed, great concurrent operation ability, completed function distribution mode. 
1.3.3 General hardware platform 
The general hardware platform of the system is compatible with a variety of hardware equipments, such as HP, IBM, DELL, Lenovo, Cisco, Nortel, EPSON. 
1.3.4 System Stability and reliability 
The system supports following function to assure the stability and reliability:
 1)FEC Fast Ethernet channel provides the up to four network link redundancy with1000 M bandwidth in the 100/1000 M exchange network.
 2)The three databases (Original database, Application database, WEB database) can be in concentrated mode or separated mode physically or logically. When they are separated, the system efficiency and security can be improved; while concentrated mode can reduce the project investment. Both modes can ensure that the original database will not be modified, and improve the data security.
1.3.5 Expandability
System employs open distributed architecture to support following upgrade:
 1)Seamless hardware upgrade
 2)Mutual PC backup upgrade
 3)Mutual NET backup upgrade
1.3.6 Easy maintenance
 1)Simplified system installation
 2)User friendly interface
 3)English and Arabian language interface
 5)Remote maintenance management
1.3.7 Data security
This system employs 4-level safety control, which is to ensure the safe operation of the whole system and data security.
1.3.8 Database security
The database will take password protection against unauthorized access. Different user is set with different security level accordingly.
1.3.9 Application software security
The application employs a variety of security design, first of all, is user authority management, for example, only system administrator can set user privileges, only the operator can process business operation. 
System administrators are also divided into multi-level management architecture, super-administrator (the top security level) can authorize the affiliated system administrator (lower security level), and the system administrator can authorize the lower level administrators. Only super-user can view users operation and maintenance log.
1.3.10 System Backup
System backup will be auto executed periodically or manually in time.
All related system operation such as data modification should be performed by authorized stuff and recorded with operation time, operator ID and special mark.

2. System Master Station (SMS) Design

2.1 Vending System Structure


1.Online Vending between CDU and SMS

CDU vending and get token from SMS

CDU synchronization data with SMS online

2.Open System

International Data Transfer Protocol

Open Software platform and interface

Integrated application programming interface

3.High Reliability

Main device using redundancy design

Insulate trouble automatically

Database backup


Network Security, System Log, upgrade software

Data frame transfer identity and encrypt

System and Application level backup and restore

5.Easy Maintenance

Hardware and Software diagnosis

Self-contained tools for maintenance

Integrated application programming interface

6.Easy Expand

Modularize design, easy upgrade

Easy to expand Data management platform

3. Prepayment System Software Design

3.1 Prepayment system software (Online System)

3.1.1 Software Structure

3.1.2 Feature of Software
1.Prepayment Application System is base on B/S Structure and thin client structure (CDU). Utility user and End customer can use the software through IE or thin client;
2.Important operation with IP/MAC binds technical. Such as vending, modify import parameter etc. can be bind to special PC. 
3.Different Database Support. Oracle, Sybase, DB2, SQL Server;
4.Security Protection. There are four levels security available. Only authorized user can access the software.
5.Efficient software design, high speed vending available.
6.Flexible reports system design.
7.Supports multiple tariff, tax and charge structures;
8.Customization operation interface, easy to use.
9.Customization function available, such as bulk operation, Free issue token (FBE), Debt collection, block/unblock meter and etc.
10.Easy interface with other system through Web Service technical.
3.1.3 Software Functional Overview

1.System Management: Four level authorized management, Functional distribution management and Responsible;

2.Archive Management: SGC, TG, TI and POS (point of sale) management, Card issuing management, Property/Archive management, User information management, Metering information management;

3.Vending Management: Credit/Sale management, Re-issue, Credit alarm, Balance analysis, Debt statistics and Abnormal user inquiry;

4.Data Statistic and Reports Management: Daily/Monthly vending analysis and statistics, Initial data report, Monthly billing data report, Total energy statistics, Balance report and Sales statistics report;

5.Encrypting Service(back-end service): Generate the Token;

6.Interface with other system: interface with Billing system, E-Bank System, ATM System, Scratch Card system etc.

3.1.4 System Management Subsystem

The system is used to manage the system operation parameter, user function and delegation of authority for each area.

The system adopts four security levels: Administrator, SMS Manager, CDU (POS) Manager and Operator. The system is used to manage the system kernel parameter, operation parameter, user function and delegation of authority for each area.

Detail records on users’ log time, and modification event are available.

System administration mainly includes the following functions:
 1.Tax management
Offers an easy and efficient management of various taxes: such as VAT, day fixed charges, service charge and etc.
 2.Tariff management
Clear tariff structure is available: Tariff index, tariff ID, tariff price (single tariff and step tariff).
 3.SGC management
Create new SGC, SGC information maintenance are available.
 4.SMS and CDU(POS) management;
SMS and CDU (POS) manager, operator information maintenance is available.
 5.Security hierarchy
Role definition: page role, operator role and operation scope role.
Administrator, SMS manager, POS manager, Operator management: create manager and operator, and authorize different roles to each manager and operator.
 6.Operation Logs Management
Review of operations logs is available: such as tariff information modification, SGC information modification, operator set up and etc. 
 7.Transaction reversal
If there is any wrong transaction by carelessly, authorized manager can reverse the transaction.  Relative record is traceable.

3.1.5 Archives Management Subsystem

The system is used to registration and modification on system equipment and archives,Include Distribution Network Object, Vending information, Meter and customer account information, site component information etc.
Devices and Archives Management Subsystem:The functions are as follows: 
 1.Meter Management
Add new meters and meter information maintenance, such as Meter NO, Meter type, meter status, etc.
 2.Customer Management
Create new account and customer information maintenance, such as customer Account. NO, Account name, address, contact information, TI, etc.
 3.Meter installation & meter replacement 
After the installation or replacement of meter, assign meter related to customer.
3.1.6 Vending Subsystem

Vending subsystem is the main part of Hexcell prepayment system. It is based both on web BS vending and thin client version vending. 20 digits encryption are applied to secure the data. 
 1.Credit vending
Search meters via meter No. or Customer No. or other relative information and generate tokens via secured 20 digits encryption based on credit amount. 
 2.Free issue vending (FBE)
Based on utility requirement, FBE is offered in this way: each meter is authorized to access fixed amount energy for free. The amount value is configurable, such as 50kWh per month. 
 3.TOKEN Reissue
Token reissue is available once token receipt is missing. 
 4.Ask for Maintenance registration
System can record the meter maintenance application from call center as well as meter problems. Meter maintenances information such as solution, maintenance engineer and maintenance time is also traceable.  
 5.Debt collection 
Government debt such as public service charges can be collected via each vending with a fixed percentage of debt. The percentage is negotiable between utility and customers. 
3.1.7 Data Statistic and Reports Management Subsystem
During the data process, data verification goes synchronously to check abnormal data, which will be notified in alarm report.
Various reports are available. 
 1.Vending reports per SMS, CDU(POS), Operator. 
Vending information (total amount, VAT, etc) is available based on each SMS, CDU and operator per day, month, year or fixed period. 
 2.Free issue report
Free token information (total free amount, VAT, etc) is available based on each SMS, CDU and operator per day, month, year or fixed period.
 3.Token reissue report
Token reissue information (meter No., transaction time, token, etc) is available based on each SMS, CDU and operator, per day, month, year or fixed period.
 4.Maintenance report
Meter maintenance information is traceable, including: meter No, meter problem, maintenance engineer, maintenance time and solution.  
 5.Debt collection report
Debt collection information is traceable, including: debt collection period, debt collect percentage and etc. 
 6.Purchasing report per SGC or TI. 
Purchasing information (total purchasing amount, VAT, etc) is available based on each SGC, TI per day, month, year or fixed period. 
 7.Transaction reversal report 
Transaction reversal information (transaction No., transaction time, token, etc) is available based on each SMS, CDU and operator, per day, month, year or fixed period.
 8.Abnormal customer report 
Abnormal customer information is traceable, for example: system can record and generate report for all customers which do not vend in the last two months. 

4. Multi-Vending

4.1 Attended vending (POS vending) 
4.1.1 Vending introduction: 
The manned PC-based vending station consists of a normal PC and the vending system software application. The meter information and customer information is saved in the master station database and not allow vending to customer if he/she is not loaded on the database.   One single shift can support multiple operators. When a shift is closed, a shift report will be issued, showing all transaction totals with the associated operators, including free issues and reversals.  
4.1.2Vending process
Customers go to Point of sales and show the meter No. to vending operators. The vending operators will search the meter information in the database. If it
fails, then the customer is not able to purchase in this POS and need to try another POS. If the meter information is successfully shown on the display, then the operator input the amount to generate a vending token with certain amount.  
After the token is generated, click the print button to print the token receipt and hand it over to customer. The customer back to home with the receipt and manually key in printed tokens to meter to charge the meter. 
4.2 UUSD
4.2.1 Vending introduction 
USSD is similar to Short Messaging Service (SMS), but, unlike SMS, USSD transactions occur during the session only. With SMS, message scan be sent to a mobile phone and stored for several days if the phone is not activated or within range.
4.2.2 Vending Process 
Customers use mobile phone to send SMS with meter number and purchased amount to designated number. The server will generate the tokens and send command to respective meter number. When it will succeed, then customer’s mobile phone will receive a prompt message; if it will fail, customer’s mobile will receive a message to charge again.  
4.3 ATM vending 
4.3.1 Vending introduction 
Automatic Teller machine is usually located in the public places, such as super market, shops, transport station and etc. ATM (automatic teller machine) is remotely connected with the vending servers via WAN and all the meter information is saved in the database server. 
4.3.2 Vending Process 
Customers go to an ATM for purchasing electricity. On the touch screen, choose the service for “Electricity purchasing” and jump out the vending interface. Input the meter No. and ATM will remotely search the meter information in the database and show the relative information on the screen. Customer checks the information on the screen. If the information is confirmed, click button of confirm. The vending interface will require the bank account information of customer. Input the credit card No. as well as purchasing amount on the ATM. The ATM will deduct the purchasing amount from customer’s bank account. After the payment is confirmed, ATM will send token request to vending server. The vending server will issue the vending token based on the request and send it back to ATM. The ATM prints the token receipt back to customer. If the transaction fails due to communication problem, the money will be returned back to customer bank account and a failure receipt will be printed.  
4.4 Handheld vending (terminal vending) 
4.4.1 Vending introduction 
Handheld vending machine is usually located in the shops of some small towns where is far away from the vending office. It is small size and easy to be removed and located.  Handheld vending machine is remotely connected with the vending servers via WAN and all the meter information is saved in the database server.  Handheld vending machine should be attended with operators. 
4.4.2 Vending Process 
Customers go to handheld vending shops and show the meter No. to vending operators. The vending operators will search the meter information in the database. If fails, then the customer is not able to purchase in this shop and need to try another one. If the meter information is successfully searched, then the operator input the purchasing amount to generate a vending token. The request will be remotely sent to vending server. The vending server will generate the token based on the request and reply the tokens back to handheld vending machine. 
Click the print button on the handheld touch screen to print the token receipt and hand it over to customer. The customer back to home with the receipt and manually key in printed tokens to meter to charge the meter. 
4.5 Cell phone vending 
4.5.1 Vending introduction 
Cell phone vending is using cell phone as a medium for vending. Easy operation and the widespread using of cell phone make the cell phone vending very popular. The following parties will be involved in the cell phone vending: 
 1.Banks (the purchasing amount can