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1. (WO2001039145) UTILITY BILLING INFRASTRUCTURE

Pub. No.:    WO/2001/039145    International Application No.:    PCT/EP2000/010701
Publication Date: Fri Jun 01 01:59:59 CEST 2001 International Filing Date: Sat Oct 28 01:59:59 CEST 2000
IPC: G06Q 20/00
G07F 15/00
G07F 7/00
G07F 7/02
G07F 7/08
H04M 17/00
Applicants: SIEMENS METERING LIMITED
WHITE, Ian
Inventors: WHITE, Ian
Title: UTILITY BILLING INFRASTRUCTURE
Abstract:
A method for allowing utility customers to pay for energy supplies or services (208) through the existing billing infrastructures of the telecommunications companies. Utility meters (206) use a payment technology that requires a multi-digit code sequence (200) to transfer credit values into each meter (206), for example KeyPad. The multi-digit code sequence (200) can be obtained by dialling a call centre (202) which provides the code sequence (200) audibly over the telephone connection. Payment for the code sequence (200), and hence for the energy or service, is obtained by the telecommunications company by means of special charging rates for the dialled call to the call centre (202). A customer can choose from a selection of calling centre numbers (220) according to the amount of credit that is required. Revenue is paid to the utility company by the telecommunications company through existing 'premium rate' service arrangements in the telecommunications billing system.