The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has launched its electronic billing and payment system to boost its operations.
The initiative is also to help address customer challenges and inconsistencies associated with the current manual system, as well as block leakages in revenue collection.
Throwing more light on how the system works at a ceremony to launch the initiative in Accra on Tuesday, the Managing Director of the GWCL, Dr Clifford Braimah, said the e-billing system would be implemented by the use of emails and phone text messages.
“The new electronic system will calculate the water consumption instantly and automatically send to customers their corresponding bills via text message and or e-mail,” he said.
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He described the e-billing as compatible with all types of mobile phones and not just smartphones.
Dr Braimah said currently, the manual system of billing would be done alongside the electronic system, until all necessary data to facilitate the total implementation of the electronic billing and payment system was rolled out nationwide.
He appealed to the public to cooperate with the staff of the company who were deployed to take personal data, such as names, phone numbers, email addresses that would be synchronised with customers’ corresponding GPS location to facilitate the process.
The e-billing is currently being implemented in four regions, namely Greater Accra, Central, Ashanti and Western.
In a couple of months, Dr Braimah said, the system would be rolled out in four other regions and gradually implemented nationwide.
“All customers in the named regions who have still not received the SMS from GWCL are requested to kindly call at the nearest GWCL district office to update or issue their customer details,” he appealed.
He said alternatively, the customers who had not received the text messages could call the GWCL’s call centre to validate their details.
The call centre could be reached by text message through 1700 and on WhatsApp through 0555123393 or 0555155524.
He added that the nationwide replication meant that there would be a shift from the current paper bill that was distributed by GWCL’s meter readers to its numerous customers across the country every month.
Currently, the GWCL prepares its customers’ bills by manually keying into its billing system, readings manually recorded by the company’s meter readers and printed bills are distributed to customers.
Dr Braimah said the GWCL began sending e-bills concurrently with paper bills from March and would gradually cease delivering the paper bills.
To make the process easier and more efficient, he said the company would soon replace all meters with smart meters which were capable of storing the bill information to help customers monitor their bills.
He noted that the smart meters would also help the company read the meters from the entrances of the customers’ homes and would further address any challenges the current manual meters would pose.
The new e-payment system would also allow all customers nationwide to pay their bills electronically in the comfort of their homes and from any location nationwide.
The platforms facilitating the GWCL’s e-payment system include mobile money platforms, a number of banks and e-payment services.
Launching the initiative, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Kofi Adda, commended the GWCL for the initiative, adding that “it would make you serve your customers better.
He also called on customers to pay their water bills promptly.