WaterSmart Software, the water utility customer engagement platform provider, announced on Wednesday (Oct. 5) the launch of an electronic presentment and payment solution powered by Stripe. WaterSmart said the solution is a first for the water industry, integrating customer engagement, water consumption data, leak resolution, billing information and multichannel electronic payment options into a unified customer portal. In addition to the customer-facing elements of the solution, utility staff can also track payment delinquencies, deliver personalized communications to customers at risk of nonpayment and drive down collection costs, while improving payment performance.
“Our water utility partners have been consistently asking for an integrated payment solution to supplement our traditional customer engagement tools,” said Robin Gilthorpe, WaterSmart CEO, in a press release. “With Stripe, the global leader in online payments, we’re now able to bring best-in-class electronic bill presentment and payments to the water utility industry to help our customers drive improvements in payment performance.”
Unlike single-purpose online payment options, the WaterSmart solution includes detailed trending data on water consumption, money saving and property protecting recommendations and alerts and notifications that supplement and inform the bill payment experience. The WaterSmart solution aims to drive greater adoption of online payments, help improve payment performance, drive down print and mail costs through paperless billing and offer utilities and their customers best-in-class interchange fees.
“It should be easy to pay for anything online — whether that’s a pair of shoes, a cab ride or your water bill,” said Cristina Cordova, head of business development at Stripe, in the same press release. “We’re excited to work closely with WaterSmart to provide their water utility partners across the country with a seamless and secure way to accept payments online.” According to WaterSmart, the new product comes at a time when water utilities are increasingly struggling with everything from infrastructure failures, to growing water stress, to affordability challenges.