PREPAID METERS AND PREPAID METER VENDING
Mr Prepaid offers state of the art, all-in-one solution for prepaid metering and prepaid meter vending. One of the most cost-effective and easy to use prepaid electricity/water and metering solutions on the market today.
Ideal for property investors, landlords and letting agents. Suitable for installation in granny flats, individually rented units, shops, stores and sporting facilities. Our prepaid meters are completely managed using SMS and web technology to ensure nationwide 24/7 service.
PREPAID METER BENEFITS
Improved Cashflow – With prepaid meters there are no arrears to collect and the tenants can control their budget to use as much as they can afford.
No Credit Requests and Arrears Collection Costs – With prepaid meters, there can be no requests for credit or collection of arrears issues.
No Deposits – With prepaid meters you don’t need to take deposits for electricity or water from your tenants.
No Monthly Bills – With prepaid meters you don’t need to send monthly usage bills for electricity or water.
PREPAID METERS AND VENDING FUNCTIONALITY
- All types of meters for all types of properties: residential, commercial and industrial.
- Adding prepaid meter credit via web interface – 24/7 all day and year around
- Adding prepaid meter credit via SMS – 24/7 all day and year around
- Receiving tokens via SMS – 24/7 all day and year around
- Onsite vending option for shopping centres
- Automatic top-up functionality for rentals with utility amounts included and in electricity or water critical environments
- Anti-tamper technology (no tamper option on water meters)
- Landlord management functionality, credit control and reporting with 24/7 web interface.
- Display of consumption on the meter in kilowatt/hour or m³
WHO USES PREPAID METERS?
- Landlords that want to make sure there are no arrears on electricity or water.
- Bodies Corporate that wants to pay as they use as opposed to per quota inaccurate billing.
- Shops and commercial property owners that want and need tenants to prepay.
- Landlords that have multiple dwellings or rooms and need to bill accurately per usage.
- Companies that provide staff accommodation and need to monitor and/or bill staff for usage.
- Vacation property landlords like Bed & Breakfasts that want to make sure each user pays according to electricity or water consumption.
- Managing and letting agents that want an easy way to appropriate electricity or water and get rid of difficult billing and arguments about consumption.
- Agencies and charitable organizations that help clients in need to permit them the use of specific utilities.
This is just the beginning. As prepaid meters are becoming more popular each year customers find greater uses for prepaid meters.
OPTION 1 – SELF MANAGEMENT
The owner of the meter deals with the vending of the tokens himself.
- The tenant pays any amount into the owner’s bank account or gives the owner the cash.
- The owner receives the money and makes out a token for the tenant.
- The token is created through an SMS that is sent from the owner’s cell phone to the system or directly on the web interface.
- The owner receives the token on his cell phone and forwards the token to his tenant.
- The tenant receives the token and enters it on his keypad. His electricity or water meter is credited with the amount that he paid.
- This vending option costs R17 per meter per month irrespective of the number of tokens requested. A debit order form is completed to collect the R17 from the owner.
- With every first token of the month, the system will deduct R17 from the tenant. E.g. Owner receives R200 and sends an SMS for an R200 token. The tenant receives a token for R183. In this way, the owner recovers the R17 debited from his account and the tenant pays the R17.
- In short: There are no additional costs to the owner. All fees are covered by the tenant.
- The money collected by the owner is used to pay the municipality bill or top up the main prepaid meter.
OPTION 2 – OUTSOURCING
Prepaid meters deal with vending tokens on behalf of the owner
- The tenant can buy electricity or water vouchers at most 24 hour garages, SPAR, Dischem or online from Mr Prepaid.
- The tenant can also buy electricity or water vouchers via their bank app or through the vending system with their credit card.
- This option doesn’t cost the owner anything.
- For the use of this option 10% is deducted from the tenant’s payment. E.g. If the tenant pays R100 he receives a token for R90. The R10 is collected for administration fees. The owner receives an R90 refund.
- At the end of the month, all the money collected is paid over to the owner. The owner then pays his municipality bill or tops up the main prepaid meter.
PREPAID METERING FOR BODY CORPORATES
Many residential and commercial properties are owned in sections or areas by multiple owners, each owner owning one or more sections of the dwelling complex or building structure. In such arrangements, there is usually a body corporate that is comprised of a number of owners. The role of the body corporate is to provide governance of the scheme and take care of various environmental and financial issues surrounding the operation.
In such environments, it is common for the property to be supplied utilities on a bulk basis. Typically a single meter system is employed to calculate the overall consumption of all the sections and the common property area of the complex or building structure. Following this, there may or may not be additional sub-meters.
In the case where no sub-meters are installed, apportionment of the utility bill is typically calculated using the “participation quota”. This method attempts to determine fair apportionment by means of calculating ratios, either by a number of persons or squared meter area. As expected, because of differences in people’s utilization habits, this method is rarely accurate and is fraught with problems and subject to frequent disputes and complaints from owners within the scheme.
In the case where sub-meters have been installed the situation is better as the meter for each section can be measured and therefore accurately billed. The sum of all the meter readings from the sections can then be subtracted from the bulk meter reading to determine the amount of electricity or water consumed in the common property areas. This can then, once again, be apportioned by means of the “participation quota” method to each section’s utility bill. While the situation where sub-meters are used is an improvement in the case where there are none, both situations are not perfect as payment for the utilities charged still needs to be collected once billed.
As is often the case in such schemes, there are people with varying financial means and circumstances. The result is that revenue collection management for the scheme is a task that requires constant attention, sending of reminders, calculation of late payment charges and debt collection. In the interim, the body corporate or appointed management agent is still required to settle the utility bill it received on the bulk meter account.
The amount of utility consumed in such situations is generally significant and therefore carries with it significant liabilities. Without the aid of a prepaid metering solution, the financial situation of the body corporate may fluctuate significantly, resulting in contraction of the body corporate cash flow. Since utility bills must be settled in order to avoid discontinuation of supply, body corporates must often divert funds for services or maintenance in order to balance shortfalls.
Over time, this can lead to further problems such as general degradation of the complex or building with a subsequent negative impact on health and safety and general upkeep or improvements. Our prepaid metering system is the ideal solution for utility revenue collection management in body corporate environments. Installed as sub-meter devices at the main distribution board located within each dwelling area or section, our prepaid meters can be used to meter and govern the utility supply regardless of whether sub-meters are already installed or not. Once installed our prepaid metering system ensures that all owners or their tenants are required to prepay for utilities before being supplied. The result is an immediate improvement in the cash flow of the body corporate. Furthermore, the installation of our prepaid metering solution obviates the need for independent meter reading services and the cost associated with the service.
In addition to these benefits, the problem of paying for utility consumption for common property areas of the scheme is also resolved. Because such schemes are typically metered by way of a bulk meter at which the cost of the supply is discounted by the supplier, in order to cover the cost of utilities consumed in common property, each of the prepaid meters installed in the section of the scheme is set to charge for the utilities at the standard rate for that area. This price is not discounted and as a result, the difference between the revenue collected from the sections and the bulk account is sufficient to cover the common property utilities. Typically the overall amount collected from the sections, charged at the standard rate, is greater than the amount billed at the bulk meter which in most cases results in a slight profit for the body corporate which can be allocated toward upkeep and maintenance of items such as light bulbs, switch replacements, etc.
SELF MANAGEMENT SMS VENDING
HOW TO REQUEST A TOKEN VIA SMS
1.Send a text message containing the following string:
- e.g. 14000000000*credit*150
- Do not use an” R” or “.00”
- Send this message to 31696
2. You will receive your token via SMS in a few minutes
- Enter the 20 digit token into your keypad or forward the token to your tenant.
SELF MANAGEMENT ONLINE VENDING
HOW TO REQUEST A TOKEN VIA INTERNET
1. Visit – www.prepaidmeters.net (Aurora)
2. Login using mobile number and pin. Contact Tech Support on 087 55 00 870 if you have forgotten your pin
3. Click on the “Accounts” tab to list your meters
4. Select the meter you wish to vend for by clicking on the account number.
5. Click on the “Vend” tab.
6. Click “ Vend”
7. Select “Cash Sale”
8. Enter the amount and click “Vend”
9. Check that the amount you entered and click “Confirm”
10. Enter the cell number to which the token must be sent and click “Send SMS”
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