Since 2006 ADD Grup has been using technical solutions based on STS standards, which allow consumers to purchase electricity and/or water in prepayment mode. These solutions are mainly used by utility companies in developing countries where the risk of non-payment is high. However, developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, are also on the list of countries where utility bills are paid in advance.
Prepayment allows utilities to protect them from financial risks that threaten their operational efficiency. For consumers, it allows them to plan their costs and use resources more efficiently and not to enter into debt they are unable to settle.
What is prepayment mode? As we said earlier, consumers pay for utilities in advance, before they are consumed. The meter is charged with specific amount of KW/h or cubic meters of water (or money equivalent) and only then consumer starts using water and/or electricity. In prepayment mode services will be interrupted automatically when the available credit expires.
Digital tokens are used to implement this payment scheme. Tokens have been globally spread for over 100 years. However, if previously they were in physical form (metal tokens), today tokens have become fully digital in the form of 20-digit code that is inserted into a water or electricity meter.
After tokens went digital, the prepaid utility system went through several stages of evolution. Previously, the 20-digit code was entered using a special keyboard located on the meter. Later utilities introduced a remote consumer interface with PLC or Radio channel to charge meters with tokens and to show consumption values, remaining credit amount, alert about low credit etc.
ADD Grup now offers its customers more advanced technical solution that does not require any additional keyboards or displays. The process of entering the payment information to the meter is made with a smartphone. All you need to do is to install a special application on your smartphone and use Bluetooth to transmit tokens to the meter.
What are the advantages of prepayment utility solution offered by ADD Grup?
1) Easy to use. According to statistics, more than 90% of consumers use smartphones in their lives, which makes prepayment for electricity and water with tokens easy to use.
2) Security. Such technology does not involve physical contact with the meter, and therefore avoids unauthorized access to it.
3) Operational efficiency. This scheme of operation enables consumers to fill their account with tokens and resume access to utility resources in the shortest time.
4) No additional cost. Consumer interface units can cost between 20 to 50 dollars. Such costs are to be borne by utilities or introduced into consumer’s tariff. Smartphones help to avoid such extra costs for 90% of consumers.
5) Solutions for related areas. Prepayment for water and electricity consumption is especially convenient in rental housing, as well as for hotels. Read about our Adderra solution (submetering for hotels and rental property)
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