90% Rise in Digital Payments Recorded During Lockdown by Discoms

90% Rise in Digital Payments Recorded During Lockdown by Discoms

The Discoms have registered a significant rise of up to 90 percent in digital payments of electricity bills in Delhi during the coronavirus lockdown.

The power Discoms have registered a significant rise of up to 90 percent in digital payments of electricity bills in Delhi during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), serving around 70 lakh consumers in north and northwest Delhi, received over 90 percent of its bill payments through digital modes during the lockdown. Earlier, only 65 percent of its consumers used digital modes of payment, said a spokesperson of the company.

The BSES discoms — BRPL and BYPL — are also receiving 90 percent of payments of electricity bills through digital modes and only about 10 percent through cheques and demand drafts, a spokesperson for the company stated. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, around 72 percent of consumers used to pay online and around 22 percent 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 percent 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-percent, 92.18-percent and 72-percent 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 percent use, followed by net banking with a 20-21 percent share in bill payments,” he added. The main reason for 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 Discoms 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.

Recently, we had reported that according to research by foreign brokerage, Credit Suisse, the fall in power demand in Delhi had more to do with the weather than the lockdown itself. “We believe this is more driven by weather, rather than economic activity,” the research said. Weather is, thus, confounding one of the most frequent, independent, and easily traceable indicators of economic activity at a time when such an indicator can be most useful.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.