The Common Settlement Centre was established in Kharkiv in 1998 after the victory of "Megabank" PLC in the contest, announced by the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, among commercial banks for the right of establishment of the common system of payment for utility services and electric power. The beginning of functioning of the common system - January 1, 1999.
The common system of payment was made first of all for maintenance of convenience for the population at payment of consumed utility services and electric power. The inhabitants of Kharkiv were given a common slip for payment of all kinds of utility services and electric power instead of 5-6 payment documents. Common slips are accepted for payment by all branches of Savings bank, commercial banks and post-office. In addition to working points of payment reception, since 1999 "Megabank" has been developing its own network of payment reception points.
As a result of information exchange with enterprises, "Megabank" has in its database the information on charge, debts and natural parameters of all payers of utility services, which is transferred to each reception point of "Megabank" PLC. That means that every person, who comes to this point, has an opportunity to receive the complete information on the condition of his/her payments: about charge, debts and previous payments, and to make a decision, how much money to pay and for which kind of services. The points of payment reception also use the so-called paperless technology. That means it isn’t absolutely necessary to fill in a payment slip in these points – it’s possible to name the address. Moreover it is possible to pay for utility services with the help of a plastic card. There are terminals for this purpose in each point. It would be desirable to note, that the time of payment reception in the automated point has considerably reduced and occupies less than 1 minute. That means payment reception of more payers within 1 working hour and giving an opportunity of payment to those payers, who explain the unwillingness to pay for services by duration of procedure of payment reception.
At first points of payment reception of "Megabank" were opened in utility organizations. Now points of payment reception have been opened both in the underground and in the markets – these are the places which people attend more often. Nowadays 80 points of reception are opened in Kharkiv. It is planning to open points of payment reception at all the underground stations.
The work basis of the common system of payment is the common database, that contains the information about all payers of the region. The integrity of the common database is supported by a monthly exchange of information with the suppliers of services. The information, which is in the common database, has allowed the region to solve a problem of the simplified subsidizing.
It was necessary for each subscriber for subsidizing to give documents from the suppliers of services about the sum of debts on each kind of utility services, that’s why before going to the department of social protection it was necessary to visit abonent departments of each supplier. That caused superfluous social intensity in the region.
The solution of the problem is the following. The information on charge and debts is in the common database of the Common Settlement Centre. The experts of the CSC developed and installed in subsidy departments its software, which provides subsidy departments and the CSC with information exchange.
Nowadays the subscriber can turn to the department of social protection for sudsidizing. The experts of the department send inquiry to "Megabank" and receive full information about the condition of payments (charge, debts) of the subscriber. Besides all changes in personal accounts of the subscribers, who were subsidized, and also all payments for the consumed services are transferred to the departments of social protection.
Since 2002 besides the common slip payers have been given the common account, which, unlike the uniform slip, already contains information about the payer: his/her personal account, name and address. While filling in the slip the subscribers often make mistakes in some details, and in this case processing of the payment document is more difficult. And at payment on these accounts the payer won’t make a mistake in his/her filling in any more. The main difference of the common account from the common slip is in the presence of information: there is information about debts, charge, payment of the previous periods and charged subsidies. Besides after the introduction of the common accounts, in which besides a surname of a person, the living space of his/her apartment, the amount of registered and living people, benefits are specified, the mistakes in the database are found out. If the payer finds a mistake in the information, specified in the account, he/she turns to his/her municipal organization for its correction, and the municipal organization transfers this information to the CSC, for introduction of changes into the database, thus raising its reliability. The presence of the exact space or number of registered people is correctness of payment charge, correctness of keeping records.
The participants of settlements in the common system of payment are: population, suppliers of services, banks, which accept payments, the Common Settlement Centre. In the common system of payment the advantages are received not only by population but also by all other participants of settlements.
If before the introduction of the common system of payment the banks, which accept payments, had to process each payment to the address of the supplier of services on its slip, within the framework of the common system the payment is accepted on the common slip for the total sum for all kinds of services, that is while saving the sum of the accepted money, the amount of the processable payment documents is reduced in 6-7 times. Besides it was necessary to make contracts with all suppliers of services for maintenance of payment reception to the address of different organizations, that is within the framework of working payment system, the conclusion of one contract for payment reception with "Megabank" gives each commercial bank the right to be engaged in this kind of activity to the address of all suppliers of services of the region.
The suppliers of services have had an opportunity to work at all payment questions with "Megabank" only: a question of reception organization and timeliness of payments, reception of information and money, publishing and spread of payment documents.
For maintenance of money transfer to the address of the suppliers of services, all payment documents are processed in "Megabank". The experts of "Megabank" control the quality of the documents accepted by banks, if necessary they apply penal sanctions. The suppliers receive the information about payers as the electron registers, which are included into the database automatically. Functioning of the common system of payment provides entering of completely recognized registers of the payers, which means disappearance of "unrecognized payments" for enterprises. Before the introduction of the common system of payment the banks transferred the money, received from the population for payment of services, then transferred the slips to the enterprises for processing, that is the gap between entering of money and reception of the information about the person, who paid services, made from 3 up to 14 days. At functioning of the common system money transfer and information transfer are at the same time, which means concurrence of information and financial flows.
At this time according to the results of contests held by the regional and city administrations, the Common Settlement Centres of "Megabank" are opened in Kirovograd, Poltava, Chernigiv, Cherkassy, Nova Kahovka, Kherson region, Lviv, Donetsk.