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Utility customers today are looking for quick and easy payment options, while utility companies want on-time payments using simple solutions. Electronic payments offer benefits to both.

Whether using web-based solutions or taking payments in-person, accepting electronic payments can help utilities more easily manage customer payments, reduce receivables, and improve cash flow.

Web-based payment solutions are becoming a rapidly growing trend for the utility industry. Based on a recent survey by Energy Central, the average number of payments received by utilities electronically in 2008 was slightly less than 30 percent. More importantly, utilities experienced a growth of more than 20 percent in the number of electronic payments received in the past 12 months. Daffron & Associates, Inc. has been ahead of that trend with its e-Business solution.

Daffron’s e-Business solution enables utilities to accept online payments from customers and manage payment information 24 hours a day/seven days a week. In addition, Daffron’s e-Business solution helps reduce payment inquiries by phone, minimizes collections, and cuts invoicing costs. Daffron has partnered with one of North America’s leading payment processors – Moneris Solutions – to fully integrate state-of-the-art electronic payment services into its e-Business solution.

Utility companies today have access to an amazing variety of effective electronic payment options. In addition to online payments, utility customers appreciate other popular electronic payment options, including credit cards, signature and PIN-based debit cards, and ACH transactions or e-checks. Daffron can help utility companies select the appropriate electronic payment options that best suit their needs.

Credit cards are becoming one of the primary payment options utility customers prefer to use. They are convenient and allow utility companies to set up recurring payment plans, which greatly reduces the potential for missed or late payments.

Debit cards, both signature and PIN-based, are another favorite payment option for utility customers. Debit cards allow funds to be deducted directly from a customer’s checking account, which means the utility company will receive payments more quickly.

Signature debit cards are very similar to using credit cards. Customers swipe their debit cards and sign for the transaction. The only difference is that funds are deducted directly from their checking accounts as opposed to their credit accounts.

PIN-based debit cards are a quick, convenient and secure way for customers to pay their utility bills. Because customers are required to enter a PIN number after swiping a debit card, the possibility of fraud decreases significantly. In addition, PIN-based debit cards can significantly reduce processing costs for utilities.

Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments – otherwise known as e-checks or virtual checks – are other payment options with many benefits. An ACH payment is a type of electronic funds transfer that provides a secure, effective method for receiving payment through the ACH Network. It eliminates the need for handling paper checks, reduces issues caused by lost or stolen checks, and makes receiving payments more predictable.

For more information on Daffron’s suite of electronic payment solutions, please call us toll-free (U.S. and Canada) at 888-323-3766.

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