New Technology for Municipal Bill Payments in SA

The recent merger of Bytes Technology Group (BTG) and Altech, has led to the establishment of the Technology Multimedia Telecoms (TMT) Division of Altron. Together, BTG and Altech are set to change the face of the financial administration of local government.

The bringing together of these two established technology companies has allowed for the rapid development of a highly efficient and effective financial payment and administration solution for local authorities and municipalities. This system will make the payment of rates, water and electricity bills simpler and faster for consumers, and the collection of these funds integrated and seamless for the institutions concerned.

Technology explained: SAMRAS and NuPay

Bytes Universal Systems (BUS), a division of BTG, prides itself on its ability to integrate information technology infrastructure services, which it has been doing through its South African Municipal Resource Administration System (SAMRAS) for more than 40 years. SAMRAS is a locally developed and fully integrated financial management system that is compliant with Generally Recognised Accounting Practice (GRAP), and has been designed to manage all aspects of the financial requirements of South African local authorities and municipalities.

In a continuous effort to offer an improved service to its clients, the BUS-SAMRAS division has joined forces with Altech NuPay, following the identification of unique synergies between SAMRAS’ back-end technology and NuPay’s payment solutions. Altech NuPay is the leader in electronic payment solutions and caters to the authenticated (terminal-based, card-in-hand), non-authenticated (card not present) and Web-based product space.

“SAMRAS and NuPay lend themselves naturally to integration,” says Brian Brougham-Cook, BUS’ General Manager for SAMRAS and Microsoft Technical Services (MTS). “By combining the two, we are able to offer a comprehensive solution that streamlines our clients’ financial processes. Municipalities are able to receive payments from ratepayers through NuPay and have these payments fed directly into their back-end financial systems. Municipalities simply cannot function without the funds they receive from ratepayers, and utilising a system that simplifies this process results in massive time, resources and cost savings, enabling them to meet and exceed their service mandates.”

The benefits of this integration are extensive. No recapturing of data is required and, within seconds of payment through NuPay, all information has been captured into SAMRAS. Furthermore, the system caters to both credit and debit order payments, and operates on a number of portals, including card machines, the ratepayers’ online portal and mobile devices, including payment via MMS.

“The most important benefit of the SAMRAS-NuPay union is the reassurance it provides our clients,” adds Brougham-Cook. “The system guarantees payments, enhancing revenue time and again.”

Though these systems are currently used only in local government, the technology is easily transferable across other industries and sectors, enabling BTG and Altech to alter the way the world views financial processing and management one installation at a time.

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