DTE Energy introduces 43 payment kiosks at retail locations across Detroit
DTE Energy is working with CityBase to provide convenient self-service payment kiosks for their walk-in customers. DTE serves 2.2 million electric utility customers in Southeastern Michigan. Their network of 43 payment kiosks spans the Detroit Metro area, offering customers a free way to pay their electric bills in person using cash, card, and check, with no added fees.
Convenient access at local retail locations
The DTE payment kiosks are conveniently located in local businesses where customers frequently visit, including grocery and convenience stores.
To identify retail partners that would provide customers with a comfortable and secure place to pay their bills, CityBase analyzed customer payment trends to pinpoint the neighborhoods where kiosks would be most beneficial to customers. Many of these locations had high volumes of cash-paying customers, who may not have alternative means to pay online via card or bank account.
CityBase recruited interested businesses to apply as an Authorized DTE Kiosk Payment Center. They then conducted site visits to finalize the optimal kiosk locations. Selected businesses only needed a dedicated power outlet and 5’x5’ space in order to accommodate the new payment kiosks.
In total, 33 retail locations house the 43 payment kiosks. The authorized retail kiosk payment centers benefit from increased foot traffic and return customers who pay their utility bill on the kiosk and continue shopping.
DTE customers benefit from extended business hours, convenient locations in their own neighborhoods, and safe and familiar settings where they can comfortably pay their important bills.
What retailers say
One retail hub for the new DTE payment kiosks is Prince Valley Market, 5931 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI 48210.
The local market houses three DTE kiosks for customers to pay their utility bills, as well as additional services such as a post office, Vigo – Western Union, check cashing services, and an in-house bakery and kitchen.
“The kiosk terminals are a great system to have in house for our customer base. This is exactly right up their alley,” said Joe Gappy, President of Prince Valley Markets. “We’re very unique in what we offer. Providing all these services helps us grow.”
“Many customers will come to use the kiosk and continue shopping,” Gappy continued. “The wave of the future is kiosks. Customers aren’t going to waste their time going from utility to utility to pay bills. For people who don’t have banking or checking accounts, this is the way to go. Consumers already know how to use the technology. We also offer bill payment services at our window, but you have to pay a fee because of our labor costs. Most people prefer to pay at a free kiosk terminal.”
An easy way to pay utility bills in person
CityBase kiosks are optimized for fast and easy checkout, which eliminates lines and enhances customer convenience. Transaction times are under a minute on average.
DTE customers can look up their current account balance using their account number or their service address. The lookup pulls directly from DTE’s customer information system (CIS) in real time, ensuring that information is accurate and up to date. The cloud-based software keeps customer information secure, since no data is stored on the kiosk machine.
Customers can choose to pay their full balance or another amount using cash, check, or card. There are no added fees on any transaction, which is especially important for customers who make partial payments toward their bill throughout the month.
The software is easy to use and optimized for customers with vision impairments or low literacy skills, with English and Spanish language options. Once a customer completes the transaction, they can choose to receive their receipt printed, texted, or emailed for their records. The payment will immediately be reflected against their account balance, even when they pay after business hours.