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Escom switches off billing system

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The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) Tuesday switched off its billing system and the service is expected to resume tomorrow [Thursday] at 6pm.
According to a statement from Escom, this is part of the corporation’s ongoing project to migrate to a new system, Management Information System (MIS), which seeks to enhance customer service delivery.
Escom Director of Distribution and Customer Services, Alfred Kaponda, said the MIS will replace business systems, currently being used at Escom.
He said following the migration process, prepaid vending and postpaid billing would be switched off and no service would be available until Thursday.
“All prepaid customers are being advised to buy prepaid electricity units sufficient to take them through the period when the services will not be available,” Kaponda said.
He further said the new system will help digitise Escom systems countrywide.
“The system will intergrate all the business processes into a single point of reference and management, and ensure that the organisation’s business processes and information systems are well aligned to industry best practice for enhanced customer service, experience and improved service delivery,” Kaponda said.
Escom ac t i ng Financ i a l Controller (Revenue), Wenceslas Chigwenembe, said after January 18, customers that have meters with seven digits will only be able to purchase units through customer service centres and Magetsi scratch cards.
“Customers that have meters with 11 digits will be able to use all the other channels of purchasing units, whether online bank systems or mobile money systems, while those with meters that have seven digits will have to purchase their units only through the two channels; customers service centres and Magetsi scratch cards until their meters have been replaced,” Chigwenembe said.
Escom says benefits of the new system include immediate update of bill payments, and introduction of new bill payment channels such as a direct debit facility, where customers can give authorisation to commercial banks to deduct bill payments directly from their bank accounts.
The benefits also include receiving and sending bill information electronically through SMS, email and web portal

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