Indian utility partners to simplify bill payments 27 JULY 2016

Indian power utility Punjab State Power Corporation partnered with mobile money transfer firm Vodafone M-PESA to improve how consumers pay their electricity bills.

The collaboration will allow consumers of Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) to securely pay their bills online via the digital app.

M-PESA is a digital wallet service provided by Vodafone to simplify money transfers, bills and utility Payments, merchant payments and business solutions across the Indian state of Punjab.

Arvind Vohra, operations director of Vodafone India, said: “partnership with the PSPCL is one such initiative that bridges the need for a simple, timely and cashless electricity bill payment solution through the mobile phone.”

The app is expected to contribute largely towards digitising electricity bill payments through its host of 3,000 outlets in which PSPCL consumers can convert their cash into digital money for payment of bills as well as advanced prepayment of electricity. [India inaugurates IoT Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru].

In addition to simplifying the payment of power bills, M-PESA is offering a 5% cashback on PSPCL bill payments made via the app.

Utility customer billing in India

In early June, the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) in the Indian state of Maharashtra also introduced a new system to improve its spot billing and revenue collection.

The department is now using a Global Positioning System (GPS) to trail its water meter readers and their operations in a bid to speed up its spot billing process.

The decision to adopt to the new system followed a decrease in the utility’s billing service.

It is said that the city’s water division was now providing its consumers with their bills over a four month billing cycle. However, the new system is aimed to reduce the cycle to two months. [Chinese firm partners with Indian gov on AMI rollout].

Under the $14,800 spot billing system, mobile meter readers use smartphones installed with an application to record meter data, process the water tax as well as send transactions directly to the headquarters for storage on the main server.

In addition to the smartphones, the field workers are equipped with hand-held thermal printers to provide consumers with a hard copy of their bills, a system which is supposed to simplify and speed up the billing process.

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