The encouraging response to the Khedmah brand of services for utility bill payments has prompted Oman Investment and Finance Company (OIFC) to look at expanding its reach by doubling the number of bill payment machines, have more branches and covering new parts of the country for electricity, water and telecom bill payments.
In July 18,000 bill payments were made through Khedmah’s online services, said company CEO Said Ahmed Safrar. Over 55,000 customers had downloaded the smart phone application and around 60,000 made enquiries, he told Oman Tribune.
On response to the demand for more machines, especially in petrol bunks as reported in these columns, he said additions would be made initially in malls which had the highest footfalls. OIFC currently had 37 bill paying machines and their numbers would nearly double by the end of 2018, he said.
The new bill payment machines would be in North Batinah, Al Buraimi, Al Dhahirah and other regions. There are three Khedmah outlets in Muscat and a fourth would open soon in a mall in Sohar.
Safrar said the company would announce new areas in the country where it would provide services for telecom, electricity and water bill payments.
Though the company is in the midst of a campaign to encourage customers to use Khedmah, launched in May, the company will continue to expand its ‘classic branches’ where bills are paid at counters. OIFC currently had 45 such branches, nine of which were in Muscat, but more would be opened in other parts as communities still felt comfortable in such payment centres, said Safrar.
With increase in e-transactions, staff would be retrained and redeployed, he added.