In some cities, smart meters have been put into use for better management of public utilities including electricity, water and gas. It is actually a pre-paid system, in which each household needs to top up a public utility card in a bank during the office hours, insert it into a reader right outside their house and then can use the public utilities. Once the balance runs out, the utilities will be cut off.
In Beijing, the number of smart metering users has reached 4.3 million and is still growing. A quite limited number of banks as the choice of making payments during the office hours cannot meet people's top-up need. Is it possible that people could top up via mobile network anytime and anywhere?
Watchdata's SIMenergy solution puts forward a special SIM card that could also be used as an electricity card, together with a mobile power purchase platform. In October 2007, this card successfully passed Beijing Electricity Power Co.´s test.
SIM card and the electricity card both comply with ISO 7816 standard, as a major SIM card vendor for China Mobile and China Unicom, Watchdata was able to put electricity card layout into the SIM card and combine the two.
The subscribers will send via STK menu the electricity top-up application to the bank that will transfer money from a designated account to the power supplier´s account. The power supplier will then send the top-up receipt information back to the subscribers. They only need to take out the SIM card from the handset, put it into a card holder and finally insert into the electricity reader for downloading electricity.
Mobile purchase rescues people from queuing in a bank and brings convenience to them.
For the telecom operators, they have found a good opportunity to tap into non-telecom fields.
For power suppliers, they do not have to change the current meters and could reduce the cost.
Mobile power purchase system consists of a handset with a special SIM card, SMS platform, purchase service platform, banking service system and power supplier´s business system.