NASSAU, NP – Bahamas Power and Light Company Ltd. (BPL) reported that both the number and percentage of customers who are now paying their bills online have increased in the last year, with a sharp boost over the past few months. Nearly 27,000 customers paid their bills online through various channels last month (May 2020).
Whitney Heastie, BPL CEO, said, “We’re grateful to our customers for embracing the online portals, especially in the environment of social distancing required by the global COVID19 pandemic.”
In April 2019, BPL went paperless. The utility sought to migrate customers away from paper bills to receiving their bills electronically, either online or through text messaging. With the advent of the COVID19 emergency orders, particularly social distancing and shelter in place, BPL has focused on improving its online business platforms, from upgrading its website to introducing up-to-date, online views of customer accounts, to providing several convenient payment options, and working with software vendors to correct a problem created by a much-needed security upgrade. The changes have had a pronounced effect.
In April 2019, just over 15,900 BPL customers paid their bills online, representing 22.8 percent of the number of customers paying bills that month. In May 2020, more than 26,800 customers paid their bills online, accounting for just under 39 percent (almost double) of the paying customers that month.
Also of note in May 2020, customers who paid online accounted for $10.5M, a dollar value almost equal to those who paid at the cashiers at BPL offices and partner agencies (Cash-N-Go, Suncash, Mango), who together accounted for $10.8M. As a share of total dollar value payments for the month, online payments (which include payments through the BPL website, the pay-via-phone system and through private banking partners) accounted for 29.1 percent, versus the 30 percent walk-ins represented. Comparing those figures to April 2019, in raw dollars collected, online sources accounted for $6.9M, against the $23.2M brought in by walk-ins that month.
Chairman of the BPL Board of Directors Dr. Donovan Moxey said, “The picture is clear: BPL customers are increasingly moving to paying their bills online. We are excited for the change, and grateful to both our customers for making the switch and our team
members who made the switch possible.”