Bank draft grows in popularity
Aug 1, 2016
It was several decades ago that Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative first introduced bank draft as an option for our members. This service offered folks a convenient way of paying their monthly power bills. As a matter of fact, our earliest advertisement promoting bank draft stated, “Now you can pay your power bill without paying attention.”
In retrospect, I’m not so sure that was the clearest message the cooperative could have directed toward its members. With the emphasis Blue Ridge has always placed on the wise use of energy, I’d be the last person to suggest that you shouldn’t pay attention to your electric bill. Of course, that wasn’t the original intent of the ad; the idea was to spotlight the convenience the service provided.
Be that as it may, bank draft has seen a gradual, steady increase in popularity. As of the end of this past May, an even 5,000 members were utilizing the service.
The process of initiating this payment method is quite simple. All that’s required is a copy of a member’s canceled check. Once any one of our member services employees has that information in hand, the transaction will then be completed for the member without any further action on his or her part.
From that point on, the member will still receive a copy of each month’s power invoice. However, remembering to pay the bill and then employing the cash, check, or other means of doing so will all be a thing of the past. It can’t get much easier or more automatic than that, and I expect that’s one reason bank draft continues to gain participants.
Other avenues for payment
Having highlighted bank draft, I don’t want to end my report without mentioning the other avenues available to members for paying their power bills. Thousands of members make it a practice to come to the office, while many others remit their payments via the mail. Credit-card drafts, online credit-card payments, and e-checks are especially seeing increasing member use.
Whatever way might be your favorite, we’re here to help. If you’d like more details about any of these services, I encourage you to contact your local Blue Ridge office.
Charles E. Dalton