New Technology: Customer Transactions TVPPA Accounting and Finance Conference October 17, 2014

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1 New Technology: Customer Transactions TVPPA Accounting and Finance Conference October 17, 2014 Presented by: Cynthia G. Jones, MBA, PMP Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division 1

2 Agenda About the Presenter About Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division New Technologies For Customer Transactions Customer Communications Electronic Billing Electronic Payment Options Things To Consider 2

3 About the Presenter Cynthia G. Jones, MBA, PMP Supervisor, Data Analytics and Software Integration Over 30 years with MLGW Over 20 years in Information Services Currently supervising the following teams: ebusiness Data Warehouse Third Party Software Support ihub Intranet Team 3

4 About Our Company Source: Our Mission: To improve the quality of life for all Memphis and Shelby County customers through the efficient and safe delivery of electricity, natural gas and water. 421,000 Electric Customers, 11% of TVA s total load 320,000 Natural Gas Customers, 40 billion cubic feet each year 257,000 Water Customers, 10 Pumping Stations, 175 Wells 2600 Employees Five Community Offices Governed by Five Member Board of Commissioners 4

5 New Technologies for Customer Transactions 5

6 Customer Communications Key Points Live Chat Video Conferencing FaceTime or Skype Mobile Alerts Self-Service Kiosks 6

7 Live Chat Real-time transmission of text messages from a sender to a receiver Message is short Participant(s) can respond quickly Pro s More time efficient than Avoid conflict with angry customers Con s Usability based upon demographics Impersonal Sources: Wikipedia and YFS Magazine 7

8 Video Conferencing Communicating with two or more locations using simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions Possible Alternative When: Live conversation is needed Body language is an important factor Expense of travel is a factor Customer Interactions Focus groups Town hall meetings Source: Wikipedia 8

9 FaceTime or Skype FaceTime Allows one-on-one video chat Must use an Apple mobile device equipped with a camera Available of Mac OS X version onwards Skype Supports video chats for up to 25 people at a time Available on Android, ios and BlackBerry 10 mobile devices Available on desktop or mobile device with a microphone, web camera and internet accessibility 9

10 Mobile Alerts Mass text messaging for critical message Fastest method of communication Has highest response rates Common Uses Campus alerts Weather alerts Emergency/urgent conditions Power outages Bill payment reminders 10

11 Self-Service Kiosks Bill Payment Kiosk Direct Bill Payment allows customers to pay their bills at a retail location Aggregate Bill Payment customers can pay multiple bills at one location Self Service Kiosk Designed for use by the general public Provides access to information specific to a business need Source: Kiosk Information Systems; Wikipedia; Advanced Kiosks 11

12 MLGW Kiosk Prototype Main Screen 12

13 MLGW Kiosk Prototype Payment Arrangements 13

14 MLGW Kiosk Prototype Start Service Stop Service 14

15 Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) Electronic Bill Presentment/Paperless Billing: Customers receive a bill electronically with a link to payment options 15

16 Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) Bill presentment can be separate from bill payment Direct where the customer goes to biller s internet site Customer consolidator where the customer subscribes to a service that consolidates the customer s bills via a web site Biller consolidator where the biller subscribes to a service to present their bills to customers via their web site Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Current Issues in Economics and Finance; July/August

17 Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) Benefits include: Improved marketing capabilities Fewer customer service calls Lower processing and customer service costs 87% of electronic payments are made before due date 13% of electronic payments are made 0-5 days of receipt Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Current Issues in Economics and Finance; July/August

18 Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) Obstacles include: High upfront cost to set up Operating two difference systems Electronic based Paper based Keeping pace with regulatory changes Sources: Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Current Issues in Economics and Finance; July/August 2002 Apex Information Technologies; EBPP Study 18

19 Electronic Payment Options Key Points Online Payment Systems Digital Wallets Payment Processing Services 19

20 Online Payment Systems Automated Clearing House (ACH) Payments electronic debit and credit transfers for making payments from bank accounts Merchant Account allows customers to receive payments in a bank account via credit and debit cards Payment Gateway allows merchants to securely pass credit card information between a customer and a merchant and a merchant and payment processor Payment Processor the company that a merchant uses to handle credit card transactions to ensure anti-fraud measures are in place Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance proprietary standard for securing information for merchants that handle branded credit cards Sources: Six Revisions; Wikipedia 20

21 Digital Wallets Google Wallet Users store debit, credit, loyalty cards and gift cards Uses near field communication (NFC) by tapping phone Mastercard PayPass terminal Visa paywave system Send money via Gmail account Can be used across multiple devices (Apple will offer Apple Pay on iphone 6 devices this month) Softcard Formerly Isis Mobile Wallet Joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Uses NFC in partnership with Discover and Barclaycard On select Android devices Source: Wikipedia 21

22 Payment Processing Services Authorize.net Payment gateway Over 300,000 merchants PayPal Payments made using existing account of credit card Send or receive money using address or mobile number associated with the account Source: Six Revisions 22

23 Payment Processing Services Square Works with Apple or Android devices Allows you to buy, sell or send money Allows small businesses to accept credit/debit card payments 23

24 Payment Processing Services Customer habits are moving away from paper to more electronic means of payment Will allow a merchant to avoid the set-up cost and cost of the hardware and software needed to establish functionality Benefits include: Online/Mobile Device/Text capabilities offered by several processors Keep abreast of PCI regulator changes Some integrate with current accounting or ERP systems Source: Business News Daily; Credit Card Processing Review

25 Things to Consider Key Points MLGW Stats Lessons Learned Pre-Paid Metering 25

26 MLGW Stats Payment Types Payment Type Volume Amount Credit Card 64,277 $12,850,394 Debit Card (Non-branded) echeck (Checking and Savings Accounts) 26,331 $5,039,449 64,273 $21,442,634 TOTAL 154,781 $39,332,477 July 2014 and includes over-the-counter payments 26

27 MLGW Stats Paying Agents Agent Volume Amount Kiosk Payment 30,740 $6,062,994 Retail Agent / Walk-in 14,425 $2,814,976 Home Banking (electronic bill payer such as service offered by individual s bank) 27,556 $3,415,278 Monthly Average 27

28 Lessons Learned If selecting by RFP, do your homework Make no assumptions on what vendor should know Hire a consultant Liability of accepting fraudulent payments How will vendor alert you of a fraudulent payment Know your vendor s process Maintain a strong back office process Balance Reconciliation Reversals Corrections 28

29 Lessons Learned Innovation Is vendor keeping abreast of changing technology Matching your existing infrastructure Sub-contractors Have strong compliance language in contract Accountability of transactions Make it idiot proof Duplicate payments Error in payment amount 29

30 Things to Consider Costs Vendor Transaction Fee Authorize.net $.10 plus set-up cost of $99 and a monthly fee of $20 PayPal 2.9% plus $.30 Google Checkout 2.9% plus $.30 Square For sales less than $3, % per swipe Amazon Payments 2.9% plus $.30 For sales over $10 Based upon rates quoted on each vendor s web site 30

31 Pre-Paid Metering Allows customer to pre-pay for their utility services Customer pre-pays or buys credit Utility service can be used until credit expires Infrastructure is needed to operate service Meters installed at the customer s home Vending stations to communicate between the meter and vending station to transfer information to the meter System master station allows for the administrative, financial and engineering controls and ensures a database is in place for reporting purposes Benefits include: Promotes energy conservation Improves cash flow Reduces write-offs and bad debt Source: Energy Central 31

32 Top Ten Processors Source: Top Ten Reviews: 2014 Credit Card Processing Review 32

33 Thank You! 33

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