in association with

Vincent Belloc, Managing Director, PayPal UK Company strategy, Customers, Electricity retail, Gas retail, Technology and innovation, Opinion

In a time where consumer wallets are pinched and it’s easier than ever for a customer to switch supplier, it’s important that utility companies digitise and offer enhanced experiences to build and maintain positive customer relationships.

There’s already been a rise of digital disruptors who have done much to address the changing demands of today’s customers. And evolving to meet these new digital realities is going to be key to future success, including when it comes to payments.

Customer experience is important for growth, and that means keeping up with their demands. Customers want seamless payment experiences – with payment options that suit them and a frictionless, frustration-free process. And more and more customers are also looking for self-service options like meter readings, paying bills and changing tariffs.

Build customer relationships that are great for your business

Digital payments can help utility companies not only to streamline the bill collection process but offer levels of customer service that can deepen relationships and lead to long-term loyalty. As utility bills grow, customers expect more from their provider than just supplying their service. So, there’s an opportunity to deepen your relationships in ways that will win approval from customers and increase satisfaction.

That’s particularly important right now – Ofgem statistics state that overall customer service satisfaction fell to 64% in Q3 2022, from 66% in Q1 2022. This is the lowest level since its survey began in 2018.1

Offering a unified range of payment methods, ideally orchestrated within a single ecosystem, offers considerable advantages. Perhaps most importantly, it gives customers their preferred ways to pay – from debit and credit cards to digital wallets and paying in instalments – as habits grow and change.

Utility providers can also encourage consumers who have previously paid via offline methods to move to online transactions, leading to streamlined bill collection. And as these digital relationships grow there is also an opportunity to cross and upsell other products and services to drive incremental revenue.

Mitigate risk and enhance trust

These payment experiences don’t just resonate with customers and keep bill payments coming in, but they can also protect them – and utility companies – against fraud, cybersecurity issues and data breaches. The importance of this is only amplified by reports that the UK is the card fraud capital of Europe.2

It can be challenging for utility companies to keep pace with rapidly changing customer behaviours while protecting their security, reputation and bottom line. With a trusted payment partner like PayPal, utility providers can reduce the risk of fraud by leveraging advanced data-decisioning capabilities whilst simplifying regulatory compliance adherence. In fact, 62%3 of consumers trust PayPal to keep their payment secure.

Powering utilities through PayPal’s capabilities

While payments are often considered the last step in the customer journey, more and more companies realise they are a core part of every digital transformation and a key differentiator in driving competitive advantage in new products, services, and business processes. PayPal offers utility organisations the freedom and flexibility to consolidate payment systems and helps them to become more agile and cost-effective with a digital-first, engaging payment experience that can help convert and retain customers. To learn more visit

3 PayPal E-Commerce Index which surveyed 2,002 UK consumers aged 18-75 years old from June – July 2022.

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