Power distribution company, Ikeja Electric Plc. has introduced a new payment option, using Community Development Associations and committees in the Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland, as its pilot partners.
The company while handing over free POS terminals to payment agents nominated by the CDAs and CDCs in Ikorodu said that finance for the scheme was being provided by the United Bank for Africa Plc, with a payment solution provider, E-Top, providing the POS machines free of charge.
According to the arrangement of the scheme, payment agents will be entitled to 1.8 per cent of bills they collect from consumers.
The company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mrs. Folake Soetan, said the collaboration became necessary to ensure that consumers would no longer have to travel long distances to pay their electricity bills.
“We realised that the CDAs and CDCs have always been key partners in electricity distribution. This scheme is a win-win situation for everyone concerned. While the consumers can now make payments without having to travel far, the payment agents in the communities can also make some money while Ikeja Electric gets the payment for electricity consumption,” she said.
The E-Top’s Business Development Director, Mr. Olumide Akinyemi, said the scheme could only succeed when the benefitting payment agents took ownership of the business.
According to him, the choice of payment agents from among the CDAs and the CDCS was to prevent fraudulent activities associated with the collection of bills.
He said the UBA, which made it possible for E-Top to provide the POS terminals free of charge, would be providing agents with some money for the business to take off.
Akinyemi said payment agents would pay electricity bills to the IE on behalf of consumers in their communities and would later get reimbursement when the residents paid their bills.
He explained that the UBA had also made provisions that would make it unnecessary for the agents to go to banks to pay in the money collected.