FAQ

About
Citiq Prepaid

Who uses Citiq Prepaid?

Citiq Prepaid provides prepaid vending and collection services to owners and managers of buildings and sectional title properties where the municipality only collects meter readings from the bulk meter. Landlords and agents have to manage collection from individual tenants or unit owners. Citiq Prepaid provides a collection service that is safe, easy and convenient. To our customers that are the buyers of tokens, we endeavor to provide a hassle-free experience.

I get my electricity from City Power. Can you help me with a replacement meter or can I buy a token from you?

Unfortunately we can’t help you. Meters are coded for specific utilities and we cannot vend tokens for any meters other than our own or provide replacement meters. Click here to find out whether your meter is managed by Citiq Prepaid.

Tokens

What is a token?

A token is an STS (Standard Transfer Specification) compliant 20 digit number issued upon purchase that will release the specified amount of electricity (in kwh) on your STS Prepaid Meter.

How do tokens work?

When a consumer goes to a shop (or on-line) and requests a token, he has to provide his meter number. A request is sent to us and we supply a token back for the requested amount. The money is paid into our trust account, which we -in turn- pay to the landlord or body corporate bank account. The consumer takes his token and punches it into the meter. The meter is now updated with a fixed amount of electricity to be released until it runs out, when the consumer then has to buy another token.

Can someone steal my token?

Tokens are unique to each meter and will only work with the meter for which they were issued. This means that no one can steal your token and use it on a different meter. If you lose a token, you can sms your meter number to 31371 for the most recent token to be sent back to your cell phone, or contact our service desk or visit the website at any time to obtain the most recent token or any previous tokens. If these are still valid, they can be loaded onto your meter. Take care if you buy UniPin vouchers that require you to send an sms to obtain a token. Vouchers are sold without being linked to a specific meter (see How to Buy) and if you lose them, someone else will be able to use them to obtain a token from us.

What does prepaid electricity cost me?

The electricity price charged covers the cost of electricity that the municipality charges plus the costs involved in providing prepaid electricity tokens. Included in the price is a fee charged by Citiq which covers the costs of all the services provided by Citiq including: the systems to generate the secure tokens, management of collections and distribution of funds back to landlords or managing agents, query call centre support and assisting landlords and managing agents in recovering the electricity consumption. In addition, the costs associated with the specific payment method used is included in the all-in cost.

How can I reduce the cost of tokens?

The prepaid cost of electricity from Citiq Prepaid will vary based on the payment method used to buy tokens since some payment methods are more cost effective than others.
Electronic transfer via the internet or depositing cash into our bank account are the cheapest methods to buy tokens since the bank charges are very small.
SID Instant EFT deposits via our website is also relatively inexpensive.
Credit card purchases and cell phone payments carry the cost of the merchant fee on these transactions.
Tokens purchased from retail stores will be the relatively expensive as the accessibility and convenience of these services carry an additional cost.

How can I purchase a token?

Credit card: tokens can be purchased 24/7 from our interactive secure website at www.citiqprepaid.co.za.
SID Instant EFT deposit: tokens can be purchased 24/7 from our interactive secure website at www.citiqprepaid.co.za.
Electronic Fund Transfer: you can make an electronic transfer to our bank account. Details are available on our website. Be sure to quote your meter number as a reference. The token can be accessed by contacting our Service Desk, or by sms’ing your meter number to our online sms centre 31371.
Cellphone payments can be made to Citiq Prepaid using CellPayPoint www.cellpaypoint.co.za or the Powertime application www.powertime.co.za
Retail Stores: Tokens and UniPin vouchers are available at Easypay and Cigicell retail outlets, this includes Pick and Pay, Shoprite Checkers, Spar, fuel stations and Lewis Store outlets.

How will I receive my token?

Tokens purchased over the website are available to customers either via sms, email or displayed directly on the website. Tokens purchased from Easypay or Cigicell stores will provide you with the 20 digit token number which can be keyed directly into your meter. UniPin vouchers (Cigicell) will require that you sms your Voucher number to the number provided, whereafter your Citiq Prepaid token will be sent to you via sms.

Landlords/
Owners

How does payment work?

The consumer buys a token and pays for it upfront through the Citiq Prepaid Collection service which is connected to any of the preferred means of token purchasing. The money is paid into the Citiq Prepaid trust account, which in turn is paid over to the landlord or body corporate bank account.

When and how are property owners paid?

Citiq Prepaid transfers all recovered utility costs to the property owners into their registered bank account by the 3rd working day of each month.

This recovery includes the base unit rate and building recovery fee. The property owner is then responsible for settling all accounts with their electricity and water providers.

Installation

What are the costs of installing a prepaid meter?

There are two parts, which include purchasing the device and having it installed.
The device can be purchased directly from a preferred Citiq Prepaid wholesaler or hardware and electrical store.
The installation of the device needs to be done by a certified electrician who then can issue a certificate of compliance.

To find a hardware retailer or installer in your area please contact our call centre on 087 55 111 55 or email us on help@citiqprepaid.co.za

Choosing the right meter?

When selecting a meter you need only consider if it meets the specific requirements of your space, we have taken care of ensuring it’s a top quality device.

Electricity:
There are essentially two categories:
Compact unit where the meter and the keypad are contained in a single casing (cost effective)
Split unit where the meter and the keypad are separate. (This reduces the potential for meter tampering.)
Your installer will be able to guide you through the options and why they might be suitable for your building.

Water:
Our water meters undergo the same stringent selection process as the electricity devices and we have a split meter for properties requiring hot and cold water.

Activation

How do I activate my meter?

Once the meter is installed, the next step is to register it on the Citiq Prepaid System. Only once it is registered and we have your banking details will the meter be ready to accept tokens and provide your tenants with access to electricity and/or water.

Online:
You will need to complete an activation form (contact our Call Centre for the form) and send it to us.
Once it’s completed please email to help@citiqprepaid.co.za or fax to 086 606 6381

By Phone:
Alternatively, you can call us on 087 55 111 55 and our agents will do the registration on the phone with you and then email you a confirmation.

Online Portal

What can I see/do?

Sign up to the Citiq PrePaid Meter Management System via our website and get access to transaction and usage data and reports for all your meters.

The system provides a more complete view of the property’s consumption, enabling owners and property managers to make more informed decisions.

Tenants also benefit as they are able to purchase prepaid electricity and water online, view tariff details and access the last 5 purchases.

General

How secure is prepaid electricity?

STS (Standard Transfer Specification) is an internationally accepted system developed by the STS Association to ensure complete security of your meter and the tokens that will work with them. The Citiq Vending system is STS compliant and has been certified by the STS Association. Furthermore, Citiq is a member of the STS Association which is responsible for ensuring compliance with the system. Go to www.sts.org.za for more information.

What if I have a problem?

You can contact our service desk at any time to assist with any problems you may have, whether with payments or token issuance. The service desk telephone number is 087 55 111 55. To retrieve your last purchase, sms your meter number to 31371 and your token will be sent back to you.

How do I change my banking details?

Changing your bank details with Citiq Prepaid is an easy process. You would need to email help@citiqprepaid.co.za or call us on 087 55 111 55 to request a banking details change form. Original banking details of the previous owner (or of your old account) and banking details of the new owner (or your new account) must be included too.

Once you’ve filled it in and sent it back to the call centre, we will verify that all the details are correct, and if so, update our system with your new details.

Tariffs

Does an electricity unit cost the same everywhere in South Africa?

Depending on your location, electricity costs can vary by up to almost anything, even R1 a unit. Power is provided by Eskom or the relevant municipality with each provider setting their own tariffs, within NERSA (National Energy Regulator) guidelines, according to the local realities.  This results in a wide range of unit costs – so a prepaid unit of electricity could cost as little as R1,24 or over R1,85 depending on the exact location of the property.

Does an electricity unit cost the same throughout the month?

Some providers work on ‘volume based’ pricing (Incline Block Tariff) which means the cost increases the more you purchase within a calendar month. For example, there could be different rates for the first 500 units, 1000 units, 2000 units and units over 3000. This is why, for these tariffs, electricity generally costs more when purchased on the 26th of the month than on the 2nd.

Does all my money go into purchasing electricity units?

While most of the money will go towards purchasing electricity there are potentially a number of additional costs. Prepaid utilities from any provider attract additional costs due to the nature of service. Here is a breakdown of costs in answer to a very common question we get from Citiq Prepaid customers:

Are all prepaid metering companies the same?

No. Citiq Prepaid is differentiated from other providers because of its innovative software which enables real time reporting on electricity consumption for owners and tenants and an extensive number of recharge points across the country and online.  With over 170,000 meters installed in homes and businesses all over the country and growing by thousands of installations each month, you know you’ll be joining South Africa’s leading as fastest growing prepaid meter and utility vending system provider. Our job is to make it simple for property owners to recover the cost of electricity from their tenants and easy for tenants to purchase tokens.

What are tariffs of each utility and where does the money go?

Electricity:
Electricity tariffs are complex as there are many variables that impact the final unit rate. These include location, how much has been purchased in the month so far, how the tokens were bought and if the property owner has chosen to implement a ‘recovery’ fee to recover the cost of shared services such as corridor lights, electric fence, gate motor, lifts, etc.

Water:
These tariffs are set by each municipality and they all differ from another.