Many Utilities across the globe are challenged with the costs associated with the handling of low income or bad payment habit consumers: increased call center activities, collection activities, bad debts handling and disconnection and reconnection costs.
In several countries Utilities have already established prepayment programs where special prepayment meters are installed with a token or smart card based system. This requires the consumer to buy energy at special pay stations, which is then loaded on the smart card and needs to be inserted into the prepayment meter.
The costs for the prepayment meters and smart card infrastructure can be significant. Often the prepayment customers are handled separately outside SAP for Utilities in a 3rd party system.
The new solution ‘prepayment for utilities’ will help Utilities to limit these issues. The main idea is that the calculation of the remaining energy balance and the triggering of activities depending on this balance are done in the SAP IS-U system. This allows taking advantage of the existing implementation and minimizing the implementation efforts for customers choosing the prepayment option.
This scenario fits best for smart meters because the calculation is taking place in the backend system and for best accuracy the most current consumption values are required.
Prepayment for utilities is a solution which benefits the Utility and his Consumers. Consumers can now enroll for a payment option which allows them to pay how much and how often they want.
Prepayment for utilities is the solution for all prepayment related business activities. Its core function, the credit calculation and monitoring, triggers necessary activities. Examples are:
- remind the consumer (email, SMS, …) to make a payment because of a low prepay balance
- start the disconnection process when the balance reaches zero
What are the main values for the Utility?
- Increase bad debt recovery
- Increased consumer satisfaction by offering a very simple payment option (no security
- Consumers are more aware of their energy consumption and better control their costs
- No need for special prepayment devices, using the ‘normal’ smart meter instead
What are the main values of this solution?
- Fully integrated solution into SAP IS-U with no need for additional interfaces
- Leverage your SAP for Utilities implementation for prepayment customers
- Use the same data model, processes, transactions, screens, tariffs and so on…
- And therefore minimize training effort for your staff by focusing on the few new prepayment specific functions
To learn more, see the attached presentation or contact me at SAP.