Power discoms in the national capital New Delhi have registered a rise of 90 per cent in digital payments of electricity bills during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), serving around 7 million consumers in the north and northwest Delhi, received over 90 per cent of its bill payments through digital modes during the lockdown. Earlier, only 65 per cent of its consumers used digital modes of payment, said a spokesperson of the company.
The BSES discoms -- BRPL and BYPL -- are also receiving 90 per cent of payments of electricity bills through digital modes and only about 10 per cent through cheques and demand drafts, said a spokesperson of the company.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, around 72 per cent consumers used to pay online and around 22 per cent through cheques and drafts, he said.
"We at Tata Power-DDL have been working towards various strategies over the years to revamp the process of bill payments for consumer convenience and contribute towards Digital India. We have now reached a number where more than 90 per cent of our bill payments is received via digital modes," Ganesh Srinivasan, CEO, TPDDL, said.
All the segments of consumers -- domestic, industrial or agricultural -- overwhelmingly opted for e-payments with a 94.75-per cent, 92.18-per cent and 72-per cent share respectively, the company spokesperson said.
"Of all the available e-payment modes, e-wallets have emerged as the most preferred one with a share of 40-43 per cent use, followed by net banking with a 20-21 per cent share in bill payments," he added.
The main reason behind the popularity of e-wallets is cashback offers. In April and May, zero-cash bill payments were made due to lockdown restrictions.
The BSES has been promoting digital modes of payment for a while now and over the years, the discom has transformed into a digital company.
"The push towards digitisation has come in handy for the discom during the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, digitisation efforts have received a fillip as more and more consumers are taking to digital modes to connect with the BSES," said the spokesperson.
Today, the entire process of generating, getting and making payments for a BSES bill is extremely easy. A consumer can do that from the comfort of his home using digital means, he added.
In fact, BSES consumers can do a "self-meter reading" of their electricity usage and get the actual bill. This will ensure that apart from getting the rebate, they can get the bill based on actual meter-reading and not provisional reading, the spokesperson said.
The consumers can also pay their bills through a variety of new-age digital payment options from the comfort of their homes, including net banking (NEFT or RTGS), debit or credit cards, mobile wallets, UPI and QR Code, he added.
(With PTI inputs)