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Customer care: ONEA develops solutions to facilitate the payment of bills

Monday, 17 September 2018
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In order to reduce the waiting time of its customers at various counters, the National Office for Water and Sanitation (ONEA) has diversified its bills payment methods. The putting in place of these innovative solutions offers customers the possibility to carry out their transactions in a simple, fast, and reliable way.

Third-party payment in the context of ONEA is the payment of water bills through payment solutions provided by structures or third-party companies such as banks or mobile phone companies.

So far, ONEA has signed three (03) partnership agreements with Orange, Ecobank and Orabank, as part of the third-party payment. With Orange, payment is done through an Orange Money account. In the case of Ecobank, go to a branch of the bank or use their mobile internet application to pay the bills. With regard to Orabank with its Oramoney solution, the payment of bills can be done through an Electronic Payment Terminal (EPT) available in the branch offices of the bank, authorized operators or at some ONEA counters.

The process of putting in place a third-party payment system between ONEA and an institution starts when the third-party (the institution) consults ONEA or vice versa to express their desire to facilitate the payment of bills by ONEA clients through a payment solution. ONEA then gives them a functional and technical list of requirements that reflects their expectations and regulations. The third-party integrates these requirements into their solution and returns to ONEA for a series of compliance tests. If the tests are conclusive, both parties then decide to approve the solution in a real-life environment called a "pilot site," for 1 month. An assessment is carried out in order to determine the next step of the solution. If the assessment is successful, a partnership agreement is signed, authorizing the third-party to formally collect ONEA subscribers’ bills through their solution.

The third-party payment system is inspired by the multiplication of ONEA bills payment points. This diversity allows ONEA clients to freely choose their bill payment channel. These solutions consider both unmatured and outstanding (penalized) bills. It can be concluded that, these solutions increase ONEA bills payment rate and decongest payment areas.

The current challenge is to encourage clients to increasingly adopt these third-party payment solutions that undergo prior approval before implementation