A. Saye Sekhar

HYDERABAD: APOnline, a portal that provides Government-citizen interface, just got better. Paying bills of electricity, telephone and water one at a time is now a passé. You can pay multiple bills at a time.

Select the services, bills to be paid, edit the amount in the required field (the field prompts the amount due to be paid by a customer) and complete the formalities as required by the payment gateway. Your bills are paid in a most hassle-free manner.

APOnline, a corporate social responsibility initiative of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, has made the site hack-free by adding security socket layer to ensure protection to online money transactions. Once a user logs on, an alert pops up on the payment dues, depending on the services chosen while registering. The website sends emails to users on payment dues and if the payment is delayed beyond the due date, SMS alerts will also be sent.

According to CEO of APOnline Prashanth Reddy, the site has tied up with Visa and Master cards (credit and debit). It has integrated with SBI and HDFC Bank to enable account-holders of these two banks to use direct debit system from their account.

APOnline has 250 franchisees (kiosk-based) and proposes to expand the network in semi-urban and rural areas also. Magna, a chain of supermarkets, has been given a franchisee so that it can offer the services to people from 45 locations in the State.

Site expansion

The site, which is already offering online payment of insurance for ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, will expand the scope by including all other insurance companies also. Net-to-phone, sale of milk cards, trade licences, railway tickets, district and municipal services will be offered soon at the APOnline kiosks. While 1.5 lakh electricity bills are being paid on an average every month, about 50,000 consumers are paying water charges in the twin cities through the portal. The old portal will be replaced with a new one with more features and navigation ease.