[UEM Case Study] Saving time and improving efficiency by digitising SEPA direct debit mandates

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About UEM

UEM is the leading independent Local Energy Distribution Company (ELD) in France. UEM has been located in the region of Moselle since 1901. It produces and supplies energy for the city of Metz and 141 surrounding communes. 

In 2009 it set up a subsidiary, énergem, which has enabled it to achieve growth at a national level, by expanding its energy offering across the whole of France.

The UEM Group has historically been a producer and provider of electricity. To complement this core activity, the UEM Group diversified by introducing a range of additional activities: supplying gas; producing and distributing heating; maintaining street and road lighting networks; as well as various activities in clean energy and energy related services. UEM serves approximately 160,000 customers, more than 17,000 of which are businesses. 

Combat UEM – A lengthy and complex signature process

In order to set up a direct debit for a bank account, a creditor, in this case UEM, must obtain the authorisation of the debtor in the form of a valid and compliant SEPA direct debit mandate.

UEM implemented the SlimPay solution in 2009. Before entrusting this process to SlimPay, UEM was using a manual process. Debit authorisations were in paper format, and were being sent by post directly to the customer’s address. They needed to make the mandate signature authorisation process paperless, to avoid the inefficient back-and-forth involved with paper format mandates, and the subsequent delays in processing payments. There was also the issue of reminders, which caused long delays in terms of collecting the funds. 

Digitising SEPA mandates and the payment journey is key to providing an optimal customer experience and meeting the needs of customers in the energy sector. There are many benefits to a fully digital SEPA direct debit mandate process: improved customer experience; reduced costs; shorter processing times for direct debits; and protection against potential legal disputes. 

“SlimPay streamlines the direct debit mandate signature process, making it simpler and easier for both customers and for the group’s employees, on a daily basis. It’s a secure solution, which is reassuring for everyone involved.” Thibaut Tetu, Head of the Application Management Division at UEM

The SlimPay Solution – A signature authorisation process that exceeds expectations 

SlimPay offers an e-signature module, which is compliant with EPC (European Payment Council) requirements and eIDAS regulation relating to SEPA direct debit mandate signatures. SlimPay is also a multi-channel offering, which perfectly adapts to all touchpoints between the merchant and the customer, and helps to boost customer conversion rates.

With the SlimPay solution, you can sign a mandate remotely, through an operator. The customer gives their authorisation over the phone and the operator completes the signature on behalf of the customer, who then receives a copy of the signed mandate. The verification code is received straight away in the form of a text message, which saves UEM precious time in processing direct debit authorisations.

In addition, another advantage of digitising SEPA mandates is that all notifications, including the SEPA mandate, can be personalised with the name, company logo, and a message from the merchant, if they wish. 

Saving time, money and energy by digitising SEPA direct debit mandates

The SlimPay solution was integrated into UEM’s in-house software, enabling operators to handle authorisations quickly and easily. 

By adopting our electronic signature solution, UEM avoided costs that only the previous year amounted to approximately 5,000 Euro. 

UEM also plans to implement online direct debit mandate signatures. This means customers will be completely autonomous when it comes to signing their direct debit authorisations. 

If you would like to benefit from the SlimPay electronic signature solution for SEPA mandates, or if you would like to find out more about our payment solutions, please do get in touch.