Jamaica Says Online Water Billing Now On Tap.

File photo. Mark Barnett is the head of the Jamaican National Water Commission. His company has started a massive cutoff drive to enforce payment on delinquent accounts.
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KINGSTON, Jamaica–November 1st,2020–In a press release, the Jamaica National Water Commission (NWC) says it is encouraging customers to pay their bills and other fees online by using its ‘IPay’ payment portal.

This call comes from President of the NWC, Mark Barnett who noted that this method is quick, convenient, secure and easy to maneuver.

“When you go online, you’re the first in line. There is nobody before you. So we want you to utilize (this) channel because…it is more cost effective; (and) it is safe,” he said while speaking at a digital press conference on October 30.

Through the NWC IPay online payment portal, which can be accessed here, customers can make payments for a range of transactions such as bill payment, reconnection fee, new supply estimate and development fee; and miscellaneous fees for services such as leak detection, sewage dumping fee, and clearing of blocked sewers.

Mr. Barnett said the online payment offering is in keeping with the company’s move to digitize its services, noting that widespread implementation of the payment system has been accelerated due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“While (this was) already in the pipeline pre COVID, (the pandemic) just allowed us to accelerate (its) implementation going forward,” he noted.

The President pointed out that as the company transitions into the digital realm, where “we are ensuring that we offer almost all our services online,” the plan is not only to cater for those who are “tech savvy” but “those customers in rural Jamaica that don’t have internet”.

“We will still offer those persons the same service if they come to our offices, but we want to reduce the number of transactions (done via) walk in…and allow those to be done online,” he said.

He also encouraged customers to utilize the NWC Live Chat feature to voice their complaints or concerns instead of calling the company’s offices.

“Rather than make a phone call, we have the web chat. It goes up until 9:00 p.m. daily and therefore it is an easy way to (voice) your concerns,” he said.

Mr. Barnett further advised that customers can also contact the company through its various social media platforms.

“Our social media channels are up and running and its live. It’s monitored and you’ll get responses quite quickly and we want customers to utilize those as means of speaking to us, letting us know what your issues are and we will address them accordingly,” he said.

The press release does not mention whether there is a specific cell phone application for paying water bills, or how many households have desktop or laptop internet access.



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