Mobile billing – enabling a new instant and secure invoice system
With Kosovo’s dream to become part of the EU, it is committed to bringing its water sector up to EU standards. In general, the population’s dissatisfaction with their water services, as well as the lack of sufficient pro-activeness by the water utility, manifests itself in a high percentage of unpaid bills. The aim of the new billing system and the mobile billing application are to reduce the percentage of unpaid bills and help the achievement of EU standards.
LuxDev’s project KSV/018 aims to upgrade the MRWC towards a customer-oriented water company by improving the institutional capacity development as well as upgrading their billing system from a semi-archaic paper-based billing system to a fully computerised one. Of course, this does not remove the need for all forms of paper record, but it does simplify the task of centralising and standardising the recordkeeping process.
The first stage of the investment consisted of designing a new billing system, installed by ASSECO. Another vendor – PBC, designed a new add-on module, which enables MRWC’s collectors to use a mobile billing application in the field, by reading WM, connecting to the billing system (live) and invoicing the customer. Both the software and the application are in practical use at another regional water company (Prishtina RWC), producing favourable results. The electricity company KEDS, uses a very similar system of invoicing. MRWC believes that by upgrading their billing software, it will significantly boost their billing collection results.
On top of boosting the collection efficiency, the mobile billing application allows a better management of customer’s data and enables printing of invoices in the field, directly at the customers’ premises. The mobile system also improves the reporting and monitoring of the work of collectors. This is done in real time, by tracking the location of the mobile computer devices (PDAs), by observing the daily route covered, ultimately improving the overall accuracy of reading water meters (and reducing so-called “coffee shop reading”).
On top of being easy to use and convenient, the mobile billing application also saves a great amount of time in the field by offering instant and secure delivery of invoices. No more waiting around for the collector to read the Water Meter (WM), thereafter report to the water company, followed by the compilation of data by the billing department, and finally - print and delivery of the invoices two weeks later. Less time is spent for processing invoices, allowing MRWC to distribute multiple invoices in a fraction of the time it would take to create and send one paper invoice using the previous procedure.
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