The energy market in Australia is changing.
Digital technology has helped pave the way for new suppliers, while also providing customers with more information to make better choices.
The result – a total of 33 electricity companies (as of March 2019) has seen the combined market share of the ‘Big Three’ fall to 65 per cent as of June 2019 (Source:AEMC).
Having got a foot in the game, how can these challenger brands stand out in this increasingly competitive market? Looking to the UK may yield some clues. There, the energy market has ballooned to 60 suppliers in recent years.
Amongst the many factors determining who wins is payment. Those energy suppliers optimising the way they take payments are reducing their admin, lowering their costs and improving their customers’ experience. Over 40 per cent of UK energy providers have GoCardless as their payment partner – so who better to ask for some examples of energy suppliers on the up.
Pure Planet is Britain’s first app-based renewable energy supplier. The digital service and its 24/7 digital assistant – WattBot – help customers get better energy efficiency and cut their monthly bills.
When looking at different payment providers, top of the wish list was a solution that causes the least amount of stress, for staff and customers alike.
The main GoCardless user at Pure Planet already had multiple responsibilities and found that processing Direct Debits (commonly known as bank debit in Australia) with the new system added virtually no extra time to his working week. He said, “The best technology is invisible, just like magic. GoCardless just works, easily, quickly and with no fuss whatsoever. Just how it should be.”
Choosing a payment method that makes it easy for customers to make their payments each month can have significant business benefits too.
For Yorkshire Energy, switching to bank debit saw its payment failure rate reduce significantly, allowing the team to focus on customer experience and growing the business.
Yorkshire Energy Finance Director, Damian Clements, said, “We have a payment failure rate of only 0.4 per cent, and many of those are rectified instantly upon retrying the payment.
“The systems provided by GoCardless give us clear visibility on cash flow and payments into the business. The daily reports are reliable and easy to read, enabling our team to spend time growing the business rather than cross-checking payments.”
Just like it has happened in the UK, the Australian energy sector is going to become more competitive. And some of those new entrants will already know how to win elsewhere. For example, the UK’s OVO Energy (a GoCardless user) is now eyeing Australia. So now is the time to improve payment experiences and stay ahead of the competition.
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