Notifier and mPOS are the mobile apps for easy payment of utility bills in the Republic of South Africa and other African and Middle East countries. HelpDesk automates customer requests processing. Stocki is a web application and Android app used for warehouse management and physical stock-taking.
About the Project
Replacement of traditional meters with the prepayment meters improves service, eliminates arrears, minimizes breakdowns, and increases the proportion of low-loss lines. However, a complete switch to prepayment meters is ideally accompanied by the introduction of complex software solutions. Specialized services and municipalities in small towns cannot ensure full adoption of the prepayment metering system due to the high cost of software development and a limited budget.
Thus, the fail to fully switch to the prepayment metering system results in a kind of a mixed type of collection and payment for utility services. For example, the collection of data from the meters may occur automatically while a consumer needs to call the call center to have his payments processed, which is rather inconvenient. Until recently, our Client, the South African company Ideal Prepaid, specializing in the installation and maintenance of prepaid meters, had acted in the same manner.
Geographic expansion of the company to the markets of neighboring countries, namely Botswana, Namibia and other countries, forced the Client to introduce a new system of the full automation of the prepaid payment for utility services.
Our team had to develop a comprehensive solution for automating the process of payment for utility services. We had already been working with our Client, developing MultiVerify—a mobile app for transactions verifying.
In the course of discussing the details with the Client and preparing for the project, it became clear that the system would consist of four elements:
- mPOS, an Android application used to pay for utility services;
- Notifier, an Android app used to confirm the payments;
- A HelpDesk-system for automating the processing of customer requests;
- Stocki, a web application and Android app used for administering and managing locations, users, utility services, and types of utility services.
The project development team included UI/UX Designer, Web Developers, Android developer, QA Engineers and Project Manager. We elaborated in great depth user scenarios and created a simple and convenient interface for easy interaction with each web application and mobile app. We developed a unique design concept of the interface where we placed special emphasis on fast and efficient navigation. The back-end of the project was written using C#, ASP.NET Web API 2, and Visual Studio. We used Android Studio, Android SDK, ACRA, Loopj, and Google Play Services for the development of mPOS.
For the Notifier mobile app, we utilized Android Studio, Android SDK, ACRA, Retrofit2, Firebase Cloud Messaging, and Glide. In the Stocki app, we put forward several ideas and recommendations to improve user experience. In particular, we introduced a barcode scanner feature. We also introduced a HelpDesk-system to improve the quality of our Client’s work in all channels of interaction with Ideal Prepaid’s customers. As a result, we have developed a fully functional system consisting of four elements.
We developed a modern mobile design, created three Android applications, implemented the administration panel to moderate users and a system for automatic processing of customer requests. The system also provides quick access to full and accurate data on users, different types of locations and types of services.
The project was created in close cooperation with the Client, with a large flow of new ideas and regular feedback.