Itron announced the release of the Itron Intelis gFlex prepayment gas meter – revealing the benefits to consumers and utilities.
Itron’s Intelis gFlex prepayment gas meter, which helps utilities ensure their revenue and cut financial exposure, is available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Latin America and the Asia Pacific region.
Consumers use Intelis gFlex to prepay for the gas they consume, securing upfront revenue for utility companies.
Itron in a news statement said prepayment programs can help recover over 90 percent of unpaid bills when combined with other payment programs, according to the Prepay Energy Working Group.
The meter’s innovative design enables different payment schemes through multiple vending channels, including kiosks, Points of Sale (PoS), smartphones and online vending. Credit can be transferred using various methods, such as a NFC (near-field communication) card, an app installed onto a smartphone or with a traditional STS token via the meter numeric keypad.
In addition to improved cash conversion for utilities, the prepayment meter will help improve customer satisfaction and reduce call center volume through a consumer portal and mobile app for recharging and monitoring.
Consumers can manage their budget more effectively, getting their consumption data delivered in real-time via text, mobile applications or email. Additional features such as non-disconnection period and emergency credit make the user’s life easier. For areas where prepay is not used, the Intelis still allows a flexible post-payment operating mode, keeping the benefit of revenue assurance for utilities.
Itron said Intelis gFlex platform operates without the need of a communication network, transferring data back to the utility using NFC technology. When consumers transfer credit onto the meter, meter data is loaded onto the NFC card or mobile app and transmitted back to the utility via the vending channel (e.g., kiosk or app) when additional credit is purchased.
“Itron’s Intelis gFlex offers utilities the ultimate solution for payment flexibility. The reliable, accurate metering solution optimizes cash collection and reduces bad debt at lower operational cost, helping ensure revenue while improving customer satisfaction,” said Justin Patrick, senior vice president of Device Solutions at Itron.