THE Benin Electricity Distribution Company PLC (BEDC), has unveiled an online payment platform known as “iRecharge” to enhance efficiency in bill collections.
The platform is also aimed at making payment easier for customers in Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti.
Dr Henry Ajagbawa, the Managing Director of BEDC, unveiled the on Thursday at the company’s headquarters in Benin.
Ajagbawa said that customers were unable to reach payment points across its operation areas, adding that it had hindered the ability of the company to make collections from the energy sold.
“One of the report done by our consultant pointed out the lack of access to payment platforms or agents as one of the significant draw backs in our operations.
“On top of that, we met on ground a monopolist situation where we had only one aggregator on a payment platform with limited agents of about 1,600. That further accentuated the problem of reachability.
“What we have done when we came on board is to institute a new payment platform with about 14 aggregators bringing about 15,000 agents across the four states.
“And iRecharge is one of such aggregators that was unboarded for this purpose. They came with this unique payment system,” Ajagbawa said.
The managing director tasked the management of iRecharge on proper execution of the payment platform, adding that the company had not been pleased with some aggregators in the past.
“Therefore, we are using this opportunity to call on iRecharge to be very astute in execution to ensure that bottlenecks are removed,” he said.
Ajagbawa urged iRecharge to work closely with the BEDC cooperate affairs team to get the information to every nook and cranny of its operation areas.
According to the managing director, the communication strategy must be very intense and deep such that you reach the people in the rural areas in a manner and language they understand.
Mr Tomi Araromi, the Managing Director, iRecharge Tech-Innovations, said the new payment platform provided and paired a unique NUBAN account number to every prepaid and postpaid meter number.
Araromi said that payment of electricity bills could be made with just one bank transfer to these account numbers.
“What this means is that your prepaid and postpaid meters now have their own account numbers where electricity bills payment can be made.
“Payment to this account numbers automatically generates and sends a token/receipt to the payee via SMS, email and WhatsApp without convenience fees.
“You can get your meter bank account numbers via www.irecharge.ng, download the mobile App, dial *6606*1# USSD Code or via WhatsApp through 09096666612,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Victor Olojo, the National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), said the association was working with iRecharge to provide a hitch free service. (NAN)