PSEG Long Island has upgraded its Web offerings to allow customers to conduct business from their mobile phones.
The new system called mobile My Account lets customers log in, view and pay their bills, manage their account and report outages. Customers can still report outages and view current outage information via text messages.
About half of PSEG's 1.1 million customers pay their bills electronically, and 435,000 use the company's online My Account function to view and pay bills from standard computers. But until now, they couldn't conduct those transactions on their smartphones.
PSEG said the site is compatible with all smartphones, including those using Apple iOS and Android. The website can be found at psegliny.com.
"We're continuously looking to make it easier and more convenient to do business with us," said Daniel Eichhorn, vice president of customer services for PSEG.
Customers can access more than a year of previous bills in PDF format. When they register and set up a link to their checking accounts, they can pay bills directly via the mobile account page. Customers also can pay bills by credit card through a link to Western Union.
In addition to viewing and paying bills, the system allows customers to provide a meter reading by entering the digits from their meter or sending a photo attached to an email. They can close, transfer or start new service and sign up for programs such as balanced billing and financial assistance.
"It puts more power in the hands of the consumer on their smartphone," Eichhorn said.
About 63 percent of New Yorkers use smartphones, including 83 percent of those younger than 35, the Siena College Research Institute found in a study released in March.
Eichhorn said the company has bundled tighter security into the system. "There are a lot of levels of protection to make sure customer information is protected," he said.
Upgrades for the mobile site planned for later this year include more detailed alerts telling customers via text or email that a bill is ready to be viewed, confirming a payment has been received, reminding them a payment is due and letting them know of changes to their balanced billing. Another future offering would allow customers to authorize payment of their bill via text message, Eichhorn said.
While PSEG wants to increase the number of customers who use online services, Eichhorn said the new mobile offerings won't reduce PSEG's work at other customer contact points, including walk-in centers and telephone call-in centers. Both of those also continue to be upgraded, he said.
PSEG gets up to 13,000 telephone calls on an average day, and about 60 percent talk to a customer representative, he said. And 5 percent to 10 percent of customers pay bills at walk-in centers.