PayGo Electric, the real-time prepaid electric provider for utilities, announces an agreement with SmartSynch Inc., under which PayGo's fully integrated software as a solution with customer CIS, payment processing, IVR, MDM and notification suite will be embedded in SmartSynch's SmartMetering Solution.

With PayGo's system, participating utilities are able to offer prepaid electric solutions to customers without the costly rebuilding of existing billing and related systems. Although world markets have seen prepaid electric service comprise as much as 30% of the total customer base, U.S. adoption rates have been slow. Key drivers have been the high cost to retrofit existing billing systems, the need for accurate, real-time data and the limited number of smart meters that are accessible via two-way communications. Despite currently low adoption rates, reports indicate as many as 40% of U.S. electric utilities are considering providing prepaid electric service.

PayGo's technology embeds logic in either the communications modules or the meters, which alerts both the customer and the utility company of the need to add credit to a customer's account to enable continued electric service. The system includes a nationwide payment-processing platform that enables utilities to use new and existing payment methods for their customers. This technology allows customers to be continuously informed of their account status and enables them to pay for their electricity on a schedule that best fits their needs.

With PayGo, customers can call the utility to recharge, reload their account directly with a cell phone or PDA, make online payments, recharge at various retail outlets or use a number of additional payment methods. Because PayGo recalculates the remaining balance at the meter level every 30 seconds based on actual consumption and alerts customers as they reach predetermined levels, the solution is highly accurate.