American Electric Power: Service & Efficiency

America Electric Power Case

The challenge

The refund program Wirecard developed for us provides our customers with immediate access to funds, 24/7 customer service, and a no-cost alternative to check-cashing fees.

Greg Sohovich, Accounting, AEP

As one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., American Electric Power (AEP) regularly issues refunds
to a portion of its nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. The company’s issuing needs included deposit returns, final billing credits, and miscellaneous credits. AEP wanted to reduce their spending on issuing checks and eliminate the costs and burdens of escheatment.

Wirecard saw opportunities to create a seamless refund experience for subscribers that would meet operations goals and align with AEP’s commitment to best-in-class customer service.

The solution

We developed a digital payment solution around a co-branded payment card. The intention of this strategy was to:

  • Create operational efficiencies
  • Ensure a positive customer experience
  • Allow for faster processing and payment delivery
  • Provide a universally accepted, fully serviceable payment method that customers prefer

As longtime partners, AEP and Wirecard worked together to implement the refund program throughout the utility’s service area.

The result

Since launching the program in 2015, AEP has met its core objectives and seen additional benefits, allowing the company to reallocate resources to other business goals. The program has enabled AEP to:

  • Deliver refunds faster
  • Shift attention from check reconciliation and escheatment administration to serving customers
  • Reduce fraud associated with check distribution