1.1 Background of the Study
All over the world, business organizations daily face important decisions regarding what to sell, when to sell, to whom to sell, and for how much. The outcome of these decisions goes a long way in determining the profitability or survival of these organizations. In recent times, available literature indicate that business organizations, especially service-based organizations, are relying more on Revenue Management concepts and systems to improve their bottom lines. (IDeaS, 2005).
Over the years, the measurement of electricity has evolved through the use of various energy meters ranging from meters operated on liquid movement which is analogous to sand watch Berhanu R., Ana V. M., Gómez I. M., Octavio R, José A. G., (2012) through various electromechanical energy meters and then the Prepaid Meters (Amit J. and Mohnish B., 2011 and Tariq J., 2008). The Prepayment meters are electronic in nature and therefore have some level of intelligence. The intelligence and potentials of the prepayment meters have not been fully exploited to the advantage and comfort of both the consumers and the utility companies in Nigeria. For example, recharge token cannot be loaded or key-in into the meters wirelessly unless through physical contact by the use of keypad.
The most prevalent type of recharge system especially in the Benin Electricity Distribution Company of the unbundled PHCN is the token recharge system. In this system, the consumer will purchase the recharge token either from the vending station at the supply authority’s offices, the banks or any other authorized sales outlet and then goes home to key the token into the meter.
A number of researchers (Berhanu R. et al, 2012 and Christopher M, 2010) have agreed that various forms of wireless communication technologies can be used to achieve wireless recharging and monitoring of energy meter. Some of these technologies include power line carrier (PLC) communications, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), the Internet and Ethernet technology, the RF technology, Wi Fi network, Bluetooth and ZigBee technologies. These technologies are either costly to carry out in terms of finance or they may need additional infrastructure to achieve the desired result. Also, some of the technologies either have short operating ranges therefore requires monitoring personnel or they can easily have errors (Rodney T. H.G., Lee C.H., Mok V.H., 2007). The GSM network is used to achieve wireless recharging of energy meter in this research because, there is an already existing GSM infrastructure with a wide coverage in Nigeria and it supports Short Message Service (SMS) platform that is used to load the token on the meter. Electronic commerce, commonly written as e-commerce, is the trading or facilitation of trading in products or services using computer networks such as the internet. E-commerce payment system is one of the main requirements in e-commerce which is the ability to accept a form of electronic payment. This form of electronic payment is referred to as Financial Electronic Data Interchange (FEDI). Financial electronic data interchange has become increasingly popular over the last number of years due to the widespread of use of the internet based shopping and banking through the use of credit cards and smart cards. The proposed system title Design and implementation of web based application for purchase of Prepaid meter token for an electricity will be achieve by developing an ecommerce webs base that will be connected to Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC in Nigeria for user to pay for their meter fee with easy.
About Study Organization
BEDC Electricity Plc. (BEDC) is one of the successor distribution companies (Discos) created following the unbundling and privatization of the state-owned Power Utility, Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc. BEDC is responsible for retail distribution of electricity in Delta, Edo, Ekiti, and Ondo States with geographical coverage of 55,770 square kilometers. The company operates from twenty five (25) business districts with approximately 350 offices located across the four (4) states with about 13 million people and about 4 million households.
BEDC is the 4th largest Disco in distribution capacity and 3rd largest in number of households among the Distribution Companies (Discos) being privatized. BEDC is strategically located and uniquely positioned to maximize the opportunities that may arise as Nigeria’s power trading market becomes more competitive and liberalized, as there are a number of major power generations and transmission hubs located within the area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that most electricity distribution company service center don’t even power to setup up there billing machine or POS, bill generation are usually manual and take much time whether post-paid or prepaid, transaction and pin based operations.
1. There is less security in the manual system.
2. The problem of using paper token to litter the environment.
3. The problem of fake token cards that is using fake pins.
4. Errors such as transposition of figures in the Voucher
1.3 Purpose of the Study
1.4 Aim and Objective of the Study
The aim of study is to design and implement of web based application for purchase of prepaid meter token for an electricity which provides a fast and easy way to purchase vouchers online as study of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC. The objectives of this project are as follows:
a. To design an electronic meter token management and payment system.
b. To provide a systems requirement document for the design and implementation of such an application.
c. To evaluate the project’s results, provide recommendations of refinements and enhancements for interested system developers and designers.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study cover the Design and implementation of web based application for purchase of prepaid meter token for Benin Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC. It is restricted to any other electricity distribution company in Nigeria.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
Usually, every work has some limitations and this study is not exempted.
The two major limitations of this study are the high programming technique as well as financial constraints. The high programming technique constraint in PHP, JQUERY and MYSQL prevents the researcher to have an in depth study and analysis on the subject matter. While the issue of financial constraint limits the frequency of investigation to/from the institution toward gathering the necessary information relevant for the study.
The assumption of the study of this project is to bring to light the advantages of Online purchase of Prepaid meter token for an electricity, the earring problems associated with the manual method and how this problems can be solved using online techniques and the best approach in which we can go about solving problems involving recharging is through Online application.
1.8 Definitions of Terms
E-commerce: Refers as electronic commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services or transmitting of funds or data over an electronic network, primarily the internet.
FEDI: Refers as Financial Electronic Data Interchange is the computer-to-computer exchange of payment and payment- related information between companies using a standard format.
PayPal: Is used to send and receive payments through the internet.
Credit card: Is a card issued by a financial company giving the holder an option to borrow funds, usually at point of sale. It charges interest and primarily used for short-term financing.
HTML CODE: – HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It is a type of computer language that is primarily used for files that are posted on the internet and viewed by web browsers. HTML files can also be sent via email.
Markup language: – A markup language is a combination of words and symbols which give instructions on how a document should appear. For example, a tag may indicate that words are written in italics or bold type.
Web browser: -A Web browser is a software program that interprets the coding language of the World Wide Web in graphic form, displaying the translation rather than the coding. This allows anyone to “browse the Web” by simple point and click navigation, bypassing the need to know commands used in software languages.
File extension: – A file extension is the suffix at the end of a filename that tells a computer, and the computer user, which program is needed to open the file. Also called a filename extension, this suffix preceded by at least one period, is generally one to five characters long but the norm is usually three characters in length.
Email: – Email, also sometimes written as e-mail, is simply the shortened form of electronic mail, a protocol for receiving, sending, and storing electronic messages. Email has gained popularity with the spread of the Internet. In many cases, email has become the preferred method of communication.
TCP/IP: – This often used but little understood set of operations stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is the combination of the two and describes the set of protocols that allows hosts to connect to the Internet. In actuality, TCP/IP is a combination of “more than those two protocols, but the TCP and IP parts of TCP/IP are the main ones and the only ones to become part of the acronym that describes the operations involved.
TEXT FILE: – A text file is a computer file that stores a typed document as a series of alphanumeric characters, usually without visual formatting information. The content may be a personal note or list, a journal or newspaper article, a book, or any other text that can be rendered accurately in typewritten form.
Hyper Link:-A hyperlink is a graphic or a piece of text in an Internet document that can connect readers to another webpage, or another portion of a document. Web users will usually find at least one hyperlink on every webpage. The simplest form of these is called embedded text or an embedded link.
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