South East Water is one of the UK's 21 regulated water supply companies, supplying 2.2 million people with quality drinking water


Industry: Utilities Employees: 912 Revenue: £2.2 billion

Business: South East Water is one of the UK's 21 regulated water supply companies in England and Wales. It serves 2.2 million people living in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, safe, high-quality drinking water.

Challenge: To reduce call waiting times and free up agents for more complex inquiries, without compromising CX; as well as reducing the cost of PCI DSS compliance.

Solution: EckohPAY for automated, self-service payments.


  • Customers can self-serve their payment needs
  • Agents are free to handle more complex inquiries
  • Service is available any time of day or night
  • PCI DSS compliance


South East Water supply top quality drinking water to 2.2 million customers in the southeast of England. Through a network of 9,000 miles of pipe, we deliver 517 million litres of water daily. The skill and expertise of our employees ensure our customers’ water meets the highest standards.


South East Water wanted to reduce call waiting times in their contact center, increase the payment channels available to customers and become PCI DSS compliant quickly.

They also wanted a solution that would reduce their operational costs and become PCI DSS compliant quickly and economically by:

  • Reducing call waiting times to their contact centers, freeing up agents to focus on more complex inquiries
  • Increasing payment channels available for customers to pay bills
  • Making it easier for customers to perform simple tasks like checking balances or creating a direct debit.

The company also wanted to explore other payment channels that customers could use to pay their water bill. For instance, creating a bespoke payment website for South East Water would not only reduce calls to the contact center but would avoid using third-party websites that are expensive and direct payments away from the company.


South East Water selected EckohPAY, Eckoh’s automated PCI DSS-compliant processing service. The self-service solution allows callers to pay their water charges using debit and credit cards. This removes any call waiting time for an agent and also frees up contact center agents to focus on more complex inquiries.

Customers call the automated service to obtain balance checks, set up a direct debit or pay their water bill. The service also uses EckohID&V, which first identifies and validates a customer through their account number and postcode before they continue to make a payment.

The web version of the service provides the same functionality as the IVR, by first identifying the customer and then enabling them to check their accounts online.

SMS payment receipts are sent to customers using both phone and web-based options.

It’s now easy for our customers to do simple tasks such as paying a bill or checking their balance using the EckohPAY service. We’ve also seen reduced queue times in our contact center which has increased customer satisfaction as well as taking more payments than we anticipated. The service has completely exceeded our expectations. Customer Services, South East Water


By using EckohPAY, South East Water has reduced its operational costs and increased its customer satisfaction rates.

Owing to customers now paying using the automated service, it has reduced overall queue times in the contact center. EckohPAY has also exceeded South East Water’s expectations by:

  • Taking 20% more payments than originally planned
  • Taking over 110,000 calls within the first six months of going live
  • Successfully identifying over 97% of callers using EckohID&V, with 83% going on to make a payment
  • Receiving over 7,500 visits to the payment website per month

Looking Forward

As a solution unique to Eckoh, we recognize that this example is likely a challenge many other enterprise organizations struggle with when they begin tackling payment security within their contact centers. Some organizations may even feel their only option is to either deploy hardware on-premise – likely disrupting long-term cloud transformation strategies – or only achieve partial PCI DSS de-scoping.

As a result, the methodology innovated for The Client is now part of the Eckoh architecture. In fact, multiple other clients have also taken advantage of this solution, allowing them to maintain their existing telephony architecture while maintaining the strictest possible standard for payment security.

To learn more about how Eckoh secures payments across all engagement channels, please contact one of our trusted advisors.

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