Automated Payments Center for City Utility Services

The Lviv City Council (Ukraine) is a governmental body that represents the territorial community of Lviv, Ukraine and is responsible for the city administration and public utility companies.

Business Challenge

The number of utility payment outlets in the city was not enough to properly serve the needs of all city residents, leading to long payment lines and growing customer dissatisfaction. As a result, the level of the utility payments from residents was low, which caused cash shortage for planned maintenance.

Lviv City Council decided to solve the issue by developing a City Payments Center – a unified electronic system for the utility services management and payment. The goals were to:

  • Consolidate the utility payments for the city residents
  • Ensure the reliability of the administration system
  • Make it simple and user-friendly

Project Description

The Lviv City Council partnered with SoftServe to develop and implement an easy to use, secured online payment system for automated calculation and acceptance of utility payments. SoftServe`s team developed a modern and dynamic system arc hitecture with broad options and sophisticated functionalities with the possibility for further updates and enhancements.

SoftServe implemented the top tasks in four phases that were completed in five months, which is one month earlier than originally planned:

  1. Centralizing the utility services billing:
    • Automating all types of utility services (residential fee, garbage disposition, water supply and drainage, heating, electricity supply, gas, and telecommunication services) according to applicable legal requirements
    • Creating a united city catalog (residents, streets, buildings, services, rates, etc.)
    • Developing reports for enterprises and social welfare offices
  2. Creating accounting and taxation for utility enterprises:
    • Centralizing online access to the system
    • Creating reports for the tax office and retirement funds
  3. Developing an online payment system for utility services:
    • Creating on-line payment functionality
    • Developing a bank payment system for utility services
  4. Developing a consumer Web portal for utility services:
    • Allowing customers to track their payments for utility services and pay for the services on line, avoiding queues.

Value Delivered

A web-oriented solution provided by SoftServe ensures the following benefits:

  • An easy-to-use and user-friendly application with all the functionalities required. Currently, there are over 4,000 registered users. The application is widely used by unregistered users as well.
  • Improved process for utility services payments.
  • Increased customer satisfaction. Customers save time by paying for utility services from home and in more than 440 ut ility payment acceptance outlets in banks, post offices, cashier desks of public utility offices.
  • Increased revenues for the city utility enterprises. Upon launching this solution the monthly municipal services fee collection increased by 15% and recently reached 100%.
  • Decreased paperwork by converting from a paper reporting system to an electronic one.
  • 30-40% reduction of staff at housing and public utilities service involved in utilities accounting and billing.
  • The total number of debtors decreased from 4600 to 3300 (ca. 25% reduction).
  • The minimum time allotted for decision-making in the accounting sphere reduced from one month to one day.
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