In many countries, utility bills are a big expense for individuals and businesses. It’s important to keep up with payments so that your providers don’t shut off services due to unpaid fees. It also helps to establish a budget system and review bills thoroughly so that you don’t get stung with extra charges.
Integrated payment systems can help utilities reach customers where they are by leveraging technology mediums like email and text messaging. These systems also make it easier for consumers to pay bills by allowing them to do so online via credit or debit cards, ACH and more. These systems also reduce bad debt and allow for rule-driven collections processes that make self-payment easier, which in turn improves days sales outstanding and organizational cash flow.
For utilities, an effective CIS requires that they have the ability to automate the recurring payment initiation process. That includes implementing direct debit (or standing order) and support for ratio utility billing systems for cost distribution between units where usage-based billing is impossible — such as water, gas and electricity.
To enable these kinds of automated payments, a utility payment system must have an advanced customer web portal and mobile app that supports various types of payment methods. The system should also be able to integrate with smart meters and automatically receive usage data directly from the customer — a process known as direct meter reading (DMR). This allows for the immediate issuance of bills to consumers and eliminates the need for manual rekeying of usage data by utility customer service representatives. utility payment system