One of Seychelles' leading telecommunication companies - Cable and Wireless Seychelles - will provide customers with a paperless service from August it will no longer print bills, a savings of two trees per week worth of paper, the company said.
The chief executive of Cable and Wireless Seychelles, Charles Hammond, told a press conference recently that the company has been working to provide all customers with an alternative to monthly paper bills for a while.
Clients will soon be getting their bills through email, SMS messages, through the Mycare service or by using a client's card with a unique QR code. To get a QR code - a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares - a customer will need to register on Mycare. Clients can use cable kiosks to scan the code, which will display their bill and information.
Customers appeared to welcome news of the change.
"I always used #155# to check my bill as sometimes the paper bill comes too late after my bill was due even. The fact that I can now get my bill via SMS is better and now that you can pay your bill online facilitates things," said Neil Azemia.
Rebekah Ernesta, a customer of another telecommunications company told SNA that "I wish that my telecom company was doing this, as they are still printing bills which in my opinion is a waste of money and resources."
For the non-tech savvy customer, a free card can be obtained from their customer service centre, which will contain their QR codes and account number.
"There are people who do not use digital platforms or smartphones. Cable and Wireless Seychelles has a customer card on which the person has their QR code and account number. People who will be making payments on a kiosk simply need to scan the card and proceed," said Bella Damou, the public relations, sponsorship and events executive at the company.
She added that alternatively "a client can come to our centres, produce the card to a staff who will assist the client to make payments."
Hammond said that going paperless will cut greatly on operation costs among other benefits.
"Cable and Wireless prints more than 35,000 bills per month, where each bill may contain two or more A4 pages. CWS is very cautious of the environment, by taking this step we will be saving 115 trees per year, meaning at least two trees per week," said Hammond.
The director general in the public education and community outreach division of the Ministry of Environment, Jeanette Larue, told SNA that this move will reduce the impact on the environment as no paper will be required to issue bills.
Hammond added that over the past three months the company has noticed that more people have been using digital options.
"With COVID-19, it is clear that the safest thing to do and especially for our customers, is to go digital as it is faster and more convenient," said Hammond.
Other than Cable and Wireless Seychelles, other companies such as the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) and Airtel, have been encouraging customers to settle their bills online.