From 1st July 2008, United Utilities, a leading provider of water and wastewater services in the UK, will provide extended water bill payment services to their 2.8 million customers.
The organisation has agreed a new contract with Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank which will enable customers to pay bar-coded bills or make regular instalments free of charge using booklets and plastic cards at any of the 17,000 Payzone retailers around the UK. The bank expects to process in the region of six million water bill transactions within the first 12 months.
Brian Hurd, Customer Services Director at United Utilities said: "We aim to offer our customers choice and a convenient solution for paying their bills at a time and place that suits them. The new service will be free for all our customers who prefer to pay their water bill whilst visiting their local Payzone convenience store."
Offering this extended payment network was made possible by a new partnership formed by Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank and Payzone in 2007.
Over 1,500 organisations currently use Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's Bill Payment services to collect payments from their customers, including 80 per cent of all local authorities, most of the major utility companies and over 750 housing associations. In 2007, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank handled 125 million bill payment transactions.
Payzone is one of the leading consumer payments and cash distribution networks in Europe and is a leading branded payments and collections network in the UK. In urban areas, most consumers are within one mile of their nearest Payzone outlet, with wide coverage in rural areas. The network also offers extended accessibility as most of the payzone outlets have longer opening hours, including weekends, with some open 24/7. It will also mean greater choice of locations for payers as the Payzone network includes newsagents, convenience stores and petrol stations.
Paul Charmatz, Managing Director of Pl Charmatz, Managing Director of Payzone UK, said "This agreement to provide water bill payment services broadens the services offered to consumers and retailers. We are delighted that United Utilities will be utilising the Payzone network through Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank."