The power of a prepaid meter lies in the infrastructure behind the box
The innovation of prepaid metering doesn’t happen only in the hardware, but in the broader system that supports it. Meters are a single part of the extensive structure of providers, networks, software and people that makes it possible to efficiently bring water and electricity to tenants, and conveniently resolve payment of those utilities for property owners.
Citiq Prepaid looks at every element of the system from meter installation and token purchasing to usage tracking and ongoing customer support. “We focus on five key points in the system to make sure we can deliver on our promise of innovation, convenience and reliability,” says Carel Scheepers, national sales manager at Citiq Prepaid.
“Meters are critical because they are where our customers experience the service each day,” says Scheepers. By selecting meter providers based on quality, expected lifespan and the ease of accessing parts and technical support, Citiq Prepaid ensures that customers can trust the hardware they are installing.
“Most innovation at Citiq Prepaid happens on the software because this is where we can bring intelligence to the the entire system,” says Scheepers. Because the vending system is developed in-house, Citiq Prepaid can continually innovate and introduce features to property owners and tenants. The end-user view into the system is via an online portal, which enables property managers and their tenants, to track and manage consumption.
“Buying tokens must be as easy and convenient as buying bread which is why we can made sure we have the widest network of token recharge points of any prepaid provider in South Africa,” says Scheepers. Citiq Prepaid has online and offline purchasing options including over 80 000 locations such as Pick’nPay, Spar and Checkers, as well as via our own website using credit card and i-Pay along with ATMs and mobile banking apps.
“Water and electricity are essential and issues can’t wait, which is why we have two call centres which are staffed 7 days a week to take calls and resolve issues,” says Scheepers. The call centers provide telephone and email support to installers, clients and tenants.
“The hardware wholesalers, retailers and electricians who supply and install the meters are the lifeblood of Citiq Prepaid and the Citiq Installation Club (CIC) is our way of rewarding the individuals and businesses who play such an important role in reaching our customers,” says Scheepers. The Club recognises and rewards installations while providing additional access to product and company information.
By paying daily attention to each of these five elements, Citiq Prepaid has ensued a robust prepaid system to provide convenient, reliable and world class utility submetering to hundreds of thousands of tenants and property owners across the country.
If you want to know more about our meters, online Meter Management Portal and installation support service for contractors go to www.citiqprepaid.co.za or call us on 087 55 111 55.
First published in the ECA Magazine September / October 2018 issue.