Cape Town, South Africa — (METERING.COM) — May 20, 2008 – Eskom’s national prepayment vending platform using the Actaris Eclipse System has gone live with three national vendors across South Africa, and is expected to grow significantly within the next few months.
The system will be able to vend prepaid electricity on line and in real time to approximately 3.5 million Eskom prepaid electricity customers, becoming the largest electricity prepayment vending system in the world. As such it will literally change the entire prepaid vending environment, and improve cash collection for the utility and allow the consumer to purchase electricity anywhere at any time.
Among the numerous benefits for Eskom are improved customer service, larger footprint of vendors and a consolidated database. The new system also has advanced functionality to recover debt, and advanced interoperability features, with the XML Vend message standardization incorporating a number of real time interfaces to Eskom’s financial and Customer Relationship Management systems. Effectively it will enable Eskom to centralize and consolidate its controls, management reporting and customer service through a seamless, countrywide prepayment vending solution, and will allow rapid extension of the vending footprint to the more remote areas in the country.
Damian Padachi, project manager from Eskom says: “Online vending introduces a step change to Eskom prepaid vending that will not only introduce benefits to our business but to our prepaid customers as well.”
Customers will be able to purchase prepaid electricity tokens nationwide through various national point of sale networks managed by retailers and point of sale service providers. The system will also enable members of the informal sector to become vendors thereby creating employment opportunities and uplifting communities.
Actaris is a subsidiary of Itron, a leading provider of metering, data collection and software solutions.