The power discom Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (PVVNL) is going to tie up with four more banks for cashless payment of electricity bills.
In July last year, the power department started the facility of payment of bills at ATM kiosks of the Punjab National Bank. It also has the option of clearing bills at PVVNL counters through point-of-sale machines of the HDFC Bank.
“To give power consumers more cashless options for payment of bills, we are in talks with ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank to tie up with them for payment through their ATMs. This is a centralised exercise to be made available to PVVNL consumers in other districts as well. We hope it will be finalised in a fortnight,” said Mukul Singhal, superintending engineer, PVVNL, Gautam Budh Nagar.
Officials said the move will increase the discom’s monthly recovery of electricity charges.
Consumers will be saved the hassle of carrying cash to counters for bill payment and the power department will also get timely revenue.
At present, the department is able to recover only 80% of the charges towards power consumed by its customers and the remaining 20% spills over to the next month. There are around 2.6 lakh domestic consumers, over 26,000 commercial subscribers, approximately 9,500 industrial customers, 623 institutional consumers and 6,011 customers with agricultural power connections.
“Around 70,000 consumers make online payments while the rest pay their bills through cash, cheque or demand drafts. The discom started accepting payments through HDFC credit/debit cards from February 15 at its 30 collection centres. One point-of-sale machine has been made available at each centre, but the response has not been that encouraging,” said Singhal.
“Some consumers have started paying their bills through debit/credit cards. We expect more consumers to use this facility in due course as many are not aware of it now. We also want to provide cashless facilities to more consumers, that is why we are going to tie up with other banks,” he added.