Utility services are a part of our everyday lives. They’re essential to get us through the day and we rely on them to provide energy, water, and communication. But when it comes to paying for those services, consumers have options – many of them with distinct advantages and drawbacks.
One thing that can be done to improve the utility payment system is introducing automation. Historically, recurring payments were made manually with paper invoices or through e-invoice services that didn’t support automated payment initiation in the same way as direct debit. This had a big impact on bill payment conversion.
With new payment infrastructures and real-time information flows, utility companies can benefit from automation of recurring payments and the convenience and control it offers end-users. Moreover, allowing a customer to choose a method and schedule of payments that is best for them can help reduce missed or late payments.
For example, the ability to pay utilities using a credit card or mobile phone can make life easier for busy customers. And by enabling users to link their utility accounts to those credit cards, they can track spending and earn rewards.
Other utility payment solutions are designed to increase customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business. For instance, Atlanta-based Georgia Power offers a service that allows customers to make full or partial payments in cash at popular retail locations by scanning a barcode on their utility bill. This option can particularly be helpful to unbanked consumers or those who have limited mobility and rely on retail stores for their daily needs. utility payment system