May 04, 2021 at 05:26PM

Mishawaka Utilities has introduced PayPal as an available payment method for utility customers, who can also pay through Venmo, according to a Tuesday (May 4) announcement.

“Adding PayPal as a payment option gives our customers more flexibility while still allowing them to make payments securely and easily,” Phil Stokes, network ops admin at Mishawaka Utilities, said in the announcement. “Now more than ever, our customers can benefit from being able to pay in increments or at a later date.”

Mishawaka Utilities works with Invoice Cloud to equip more than 30,000 customers with different ways to view and pay their bills digitally and securely.

“Forward-thinking utilities, like Mishawaka, are implementing modern online payment solutions to meet the needs of their customers who are looking for digital transformation,” Invoice Cloud President Tom Griffin said in the announcement. “Consumers want the added convenience of being able to pay their bills the same way they make purchases when shopping online.”

The pandemic has brought about financial uncertainties that may lead individuals and utility providers to look for transaction methods that provide them with a firmer financial footing. Electric and gas customers don’t want to worry about missing bills as they balance pandemic-induced hurdles.

For their part, utility providers are closely monitoring their cash flows and aiming to provide positive customer experiences with payment options that make it simpler to pay on schedule, according to Jennifer Montague, senior vice president and chief customer officer at NiSource, the national utilities parent company of NIPSCO and Columbia Gas.

Automatic debit payments have been gaining popularity over the past couple of years, yet Montague recently told PYMNTS that COVID-19 has kicked customer usage into high gear. “More and more customers are enrolling [in automatic payments] each year,” she said. “We think it’s good for customers and good for the business to ensure cash flow and reduce bad debt.”

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