In its commitment to delivering quality services to its customers, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has partnered with IRecharge to launch a payment platform which enables its customers to make seamless payments and simplify other financial transactions.
Dr. Tinuade Sanda, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, EKEDC made this known in her remark while speaking on the launch of the new innovation at the company’s headquarters on Thursday in Lagos.
EnergyDay gathered that the DisCo’s service delivery innovations is coming at a time when electricity consumers across the country are demanding greater transparency and ease of doing business with electricity providers.
Dr. Sanda, while expressing her excitement about the payment solution by IRecharge, revealed that the new technological innovation will further ensure that both postpaid and prepaid customers under EKEDC’s network can go through a seamless process of paying their electricity bills and purchasing their prepaid meter tokens without any hassle.
According to her, the new service “enables customers to make their frequent utility bill payments through the use of a unique Nigerian Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) account number”.
She said, “I initiated the ‘Mission Possible’ drive which simply indicates accomplishing the things that may appear impossible to make our company greater and maintain its leadership status in the Nigerian power industry. I charged every staff of the company, across all levels with the responsibility of improving our customer satisfaction index via excellent service delivery.
“Furthermore, as deeply ingrained in our mission statement, we seek to improve the quality of life for all our customers by utilising cutting-edge technology and innovative processes to supply electricity sustainably, reliably, and safely. As a result, what is happening today, is a testament to that notion.
She noted that while Eko Disco is making great efforts towards the availability of adequate power supply to customers, the company is committed to securing its revenue by ensuring customers find it easy to pay their electricity bills.
The EKEDC boss, however , assured the company’s customers of the proficiency of the platform, adding that it is also fast and convenient, thereby making transactions less stressful.
Dr. Sanda however promised customers, business partners and other stakeholders in the power industry the commitment of EKEDC to continue to explore innovative ways to deliver values and improve its service delivery.
Mr. Tomi Araromi, Managing Director, IRecharge Tech-Innovations, speaking about the partnership with EKEDC on the payment solution noted that his company is excited to kick start the technology with EKEDC, being a leading DisCo in Nigeria.
He said, “The idea of launching IRecharge platform is meant to sensitize all stakeholders and EKEDC customers that their meters now has permanent bank account numbers and payment of electricity bills can be made with just one bank transfer to the account numbers. This solution is aimed at providing a safe and reliable bill payment experience to customers.
According to him, the new payment solution provides and pairs a unique NUBAN number to every Prepaid Meter number and Postpaid Account Number. Payment to these NUBAN numbers automatically generates and sends a token/receipt to the payee via SMS, Email and WhatsApp without convenience fees.
He said, “Customers through this solution will have access to convenience, accessibility, transaction security, shorter turnaround time, 24/7 customer support, instant value receipt and several other benefits.
He further informed EKEDC customers that they can retrieve the permanent account numbers via www.irecharge.ng, the USSD code; *6606*1#, download of the mobile and through Whatsapp (09096666612).
Mr. Araromi however noted that the payment to the account numbers can be done via several channels, including internet and mobile banking, ATM and USSD transfers, funds transfer, POS and bank deposit.
Mr. Innocent Ike, Managing Director of Polaris Bank, on his part, said the payment platform is the fastest and safest way to pay utility bills, adding that the new project would ease the stress of electricity customers.
According to him, “ This platform offers consumers the opportunity to settle utility bills, thereby easing the energy sector from collection stress and removing the burden of debts from DisCos and other players in the electricity supply market.
The Polaris Bank MD therefore charged all DisCos in Nigeria to adopt IRecharge. He noted that Polaris Bank Plc has endorsed it, because of its belief in the power of technology to transform the world.
Usifo Ogbesor, Group Head, Zenith Bank Plc, Power & Infrastructure, on his part said, “Collection for a business firm like EKEDC, is a crucial part of business sustainability. This, according to him, helps the DisCo to ramp up the numbers, in order to be able to provide quality services and values to its customers.
“I congratulate IRecharge for providing that platform to be able to improve that drive for the value creation process. Not just for EKEDC but for the entire value chain,” the Zenith Bank Power head noted.
He said, “This innovative technology is the only way to go. Recall technology is a major pillar for all the opportunities that Zenith bank present to its customers. We are proud to be involved as a partner between EKEDC and IRecharge, as we seek to innovate and push the frontiers of growing the utility collection base.
Damola Bolodeoku, Wema Bank Head, E-Business & Payments while commending EKEDC and IRecharge for the innovative solution said payment is critical to business sustainability.
He said, “This platform would guarantee customer’s satisfaction and entrench value system. Wema bank expects other DisCos to adopt this model in order to ease their collections efficiency. This is a one-stop solution for payment of energy and other conveniences, is the way to go. Wema Banks is proud to be part of this innovation.
Victor Olojo, National President at the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMAN), in his remark said that interbank transfer is one of the surest financial services in Nigeria today.
This, according to him, has solved lots of business-related problems. He added that solutions like IRecharge will resolve customers’ inability to reconcile payments with the utility companies.
He said, “Payment’s complaints by electricity customers would be reduced drastically, thereby offering the DisCos the opportunity to deliver electricity to all their customers.
Joseph Esemwa, EKEDC Chief Finance Officer, in his closing remark, said that the new innovative solution has reduced the stress of EKEDC’s customers from transacting businesses with agent bankers and POS operators.
He said, “This is a win-win scheme for IRecharge, EKEDC and electricity customers.”