ONLINE TRANSACTIONS ARE MORE POPULAR AND SECURE THAN EVER BEFORE, THANKS TO ADVANCEMENTS IN DIGITAL PAYMENTS TECHNOLOGY, DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFTS, AND THE EVOLVING CYBER- SECURITY LANDSCAPE. STATE GOVERNMENT HAS NOW TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE TECHNOLOGY AND LAUNCHED AN APP TO MAKE PAYING ELECTRICITY BILLS EASIER.

As the times have changed from dial based phones to touch screens, so has the hectic procedure of going all the way to pay your electricity bills. Now it is just a click away, as the state government on Monday launched an app, ‘GED connect’, especially for this purpose. So far, bills could only be paid in person or online.

The app is likely to make life easier for the state’s 6.17 lakh electricity consumers, 1 lakh of whom have registered online with the electricity department. The app, which can be downloaded from the department’s official website, www.goaelectricity.gov.in, promises to be a one-stop destination for all bill-related information, including the history of bills, bill details, payment history, and grievance redressal.

Manohar Parrikar, after launching the app, said that the government is looking forward to possibilities of introducing the app for Apple’s IOS platform as well. Once downloaded, the app will ask users for their mobile number. Then, the app will generate a one-time password (OTP) and send it to the mobile number via SMS. Entering this number back into the app will complete the registration process.

Apart from the six icons on the app’s main screen — my account, bill payment, notification status, energy conservation, contact us, and about us — the app will also provide names and contact numbers of relevant electricity department officials.

The app not only lets consumers pay their own bills, but they can pay for others as well, like a family member or a friend. A customer who has multiple electricity connections would also be able to pay bills through the same app.

The electricity department has also been asked to set up assistance centers in all electricity department offices so that people who come to pay the bill can get first-hand information on how to use it. Parrikar said that as of the present, 4.2% of consumers pay their bills online, and account for 24% of revenue.

Parrikar on Monday said that in six months, ‘smart meters’ would be installed in areas like Panaji. With this, bills would directly be sent to customers via mobile or email. Once installed, Parrikar said meter readers won’t require visiting individual houses to get the reading. Around 70,000 such smart meters will be installed, he said, at a cost of Rs 60 crore.

Would you be looking forward to downloading this app? Are we getting closer to digital India? What is your opinion? Leave your valuable comment.

SOURCE: TOI

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