KEA Switches Away from Payment by Phone

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Electric Association has streamlined its payment approach. It’s turned away from pay-by-phone and will rely on online, mail, and in-person options from now on. Dan Menth works in the finance department and says mandates from the Payment Card Industry are the driving force behind that decision.

“If we take credit card information over the phone, you have to have an isolated terminal in order to take the payment information. Your phone lines can’t be recorded,” he says. “There’s just different security measures that they want to see in place in order to do that.”

Menth says, for customer service reasons, they decided not to opt into industry voice recognition technology. And he says KEA is meeting PCI standards.

“The burden of responsibility if there was some kind of fraudulent activity, as long as we are PCI compliant, Visa and Mastercard will help us out. If for some reason we weren’t compliant, they could come back and make us responsible for any of the damages.”

He says they’ve been using online payment options for a few years and just signed up with SmartHub.

“It was kind of an improvement over our old e-bill system, but it also added the ability to make one-time payments,” he says. “The new SmartHub website has a lot more information as far as your usage, your billing. It even goes as far as throwing in average daily temperatures so you can track and see if your electric usage goes up or down with temperature.”

Menth says there is also an app for customers with smart phones. And for those patrons who enjoy the face-to-face interaction, KEA still accepts payment at its office location.

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