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Self-scan checkouts, check-in booths, ATMs, smart safes, bill payment terminals — whatever you call them, kiosks are popping up everywhere. From grocery stores to fast food chains to hardware stores to airport terminals, the use of kiosks is on the rise.

In a recent blog on Cash, Kiosks and the Financially Underserved, I shared stats on why many consumers, – particularly financially underserved consumers – prefer self-service kiosks to over-the-counter transactions. Kiosks offer speed and convenience for customers, especially when English is not their first language. For businesses, there are big cost savings when using kiosks.

With that in mind, there are some very compelling reasons behind the rapid adoption of kiosks in all kinds of industries. In fact, utility companies are adopting bill payment kiosks with great success.

The case for QuotePro Kiosks at ENSTAR

One of the first questions prospective clients ask us is, “Who else is using your kiosks and what has been their experience?”

ENSTAR, a natural gas company, is one of our most successful utility clients, serving 142,000 homes in and around Anchorage, Alaska. ENSTAR started with an indoor QuotePro Kiosk and adoption was swift.

Based on their initial success, ENSTAR implemented four outdoor kiosks at each of their office locations. Payments can be made 24/7/365 at their customers’ convenience. Even in the cold winter conditions of Alaska, their kiosks are performing perfectly.

“Our QuotePro Kiosk allows our customers to pay their ENSTAR bills with cash, card or check 24/7/365 … it also provides custom reporting to reconcile our branch payments in minutes.” Christina Veltkamp, Manager, Customer Service Collections at ENSTAR Natural Gas Company.

Simple questions to determine if a kiosk is right for you

Consider the following questions. If you answer yes to some or all of them, then a kiosk may be the right solution for your utility.

  • Are 20% or more of customer bill payments made face-to-face in an office?
  • Are at least 20% of in-person payments made by cash or check?
  • Is the security of handling cash a concern? Do you have staff taking payments to the bank?
  • Do you want to be able to provide your cash-preferred customers with access to make payments 24/7 – no staff support required?
  • Do you need to provide change, even to the penny?
  • Would a kiosk that doubles as an ATM be useful?
  • Are you serving customers in English, Spanish or other languages? Are you serving customers whose primary language is not English?
  • Do you want faster access to your cash deposits?
  • Do you want to speed up accurate transactions and minimize reconciliation reporting?
  • Would you customers appreciate receiving an immediate text or email to confirm that their bill has been paid?

Show me the money

If you’re considering a kiosk solution for your utility, we will be happy to demonstrate a QuotePro Kiosk and run a simple ROI to show you the cost-benefit.

Based on our installations around the country, we typically see 20% of in-person payments moving to the kiosk and a cost savings of $2 to $6 per transaction– savings that add up quickly when processing hundreds of in-office payments per day. In addition, losses due to errors and fraud decrease since staff members are no longer manually counting cash. Security concerns are reduced since your staff members are no longer driving cash to the bank. Reconciliation is simplified, and for many businesses, an hour a day of your accountant’s or CFO’s time can be saved. Finally, combining the kiosk with provisional cash, ensures payments are in your bank much faster.

For more information, please visit our website quoteprokiosk.com or plan to stop by our booth at CS Week in Tampa, April 30 – May 4. We are always happy to help you save money and improve customer service!

Marco Freudman is the CEO of QuotePro. QuotePro has been helping auto dealers, utility companies, apartment owners, insurance carriers and agents and many other types of companies grow their business with technology solutions for financially underserved consumers since 1991.