Customer FAQs

Click on a topic below to read more.  If you have a question that you do not see listed, please visit the Contact Us page.


Online Payment Conversion:

What's Happening:

Belmont Light has switched our online payment processor from Invoice Cloud to SmartHub. Belmont Light previously had two separate customer portals; SmartHub, where customers can go to see their monthly bills and check their usage, and Invoice Cloud, where customers could make online payments.  Post-switch, Belmont Light customers will only have to login to SmartHub to complete any of these activities. This will help reduce many of the issues our customers and staff have experienced over the last 2-3 years. We recognize numerous customers are constantly dealing with issues while trying to make payments online. We also want to acknowledge making changes to our process can be inconvenience for our customers who are not having issues. Our goal is to offer an easier payment experience for our customers. SmartHub is fully integrated with our billing software. By using SmartHub as our payment processor, many of the functionality issues customer are experiencing will disappear. Also, having one customer portal should help reduce confusion with where different activities are performed.

 

Actions Required: (Post Switch)

If you currently pay your Bill online via Invoice Cloud, you will have to start doing so on SmartHub.  Any payment information stored in Invoice Cloud, including autopayment information, will have to be reentered into SmartHub. Additional information will be provided on how to use the payment feature in SmartHub.

 

Will I be able to add my payment information to SmartHub at 12am on September 9th?

No. We do not have an exact time of when the payment functionality will be turned on in SmartHub. This process is done manually in house. The functionality  will not be available to customers before start of business on Monday the 9th.  It is best if customers try to add payment information Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

 

Why are we switching payment processors?

Many customers have been vocal about their horrible experience with the current setup. We made various attempts working with our vendors to improve the process, with little luck. While fixing one issue, a new issue is created. It has become apparent we need to start collecting payments in SmartHub to achieve the user experience we desire for our customers. Going forward, SmartHub will be the only portal customers will have to utilize for their Belmont Light needs.

 

Wait, there are two customer portals right now? Why?

When Belmont Light converted billing systems in October of 2016, we launched two customer portals, SmartHub and Invoice Cloud. SmartHub is an area where customer can go online and see their account information, usage history, view bill images, and sign up for e-billing. Invoice Cloud is where customers can make online payments. The plan was customers would go to SmartHub to view their current bill. From here they would click a payment link which would bring them to a 3rd party for just payment information. We envisioned the functionality working similar to most online shopping carts where you can check out with 3rd parties like Apple Pay or PayPal. Unfortunately, this is not how the integration between these platforms works. Instead many residents are confused and rightfully frustrated with the current setup and process.

 

Why did we have two portals in the first place? Could we have just accepted payments in SmartHub from day one?

Invoice Cloud was originally intended to be the payment processing company for the entire Town of Belmont. The idea was residents would have one place where they could go to make payments for any/all services related to the Town of Belmont. Unfortunately, we had issues with the integration between Invoice Cloud and our billing software. As a result, many features that are normally available in the Invoice Cloud platform did not work properly. We were attempting to use both products to perform in a matter they were not created to support. Despite our best efforts, our customer experience was well below satisfactory. This resulted in numerous issues for both customers and staff.

 

We just switched from Bill Trust to Invoice Cloud 3 years ago, is this going to be the new norm?

While we cannot predict the future, it is safe to say that this will not be the case. SmartHub is the product offered by our billing vendor NISC. This is a fully integrated product, that allows many additional features besides payment processing. Any change to move anyway from collecting payments with SmartHub would require a change to our billing software.

In the future we are looking to build on current features we offer though SmartHub to provide residents with the best customer experience possible.

 

Why keep SmartHub over Invoice Cloud?

SmartHub is a fully integrated product offered by Belmont Light’s billing software, NISC. NISC offer other fully integrated products that we are utilizing throughout our entire operation. One that would directly affect this process is the use our billing and mailroom services. In order to keep Invoice Cloud, these services would have to switch to switch company. This would require custom integration and be a much larger undertaking. There is also no grantee it wouldn’t just shift the issues we are experiencing today to a different part of the process. SmartHub comes with built in functionality to accept payment that we are not currently using. Utilizing this feature should prevent the issues we experienced due to custom integration. SmartHub also has some additional features that we look forward to releasing in the future.

 

Why should I believe my user experience will be better with SmartHub only?

Supporting one customer portal will help reduce confusion for both customers and staff. Residents will only have one site to sign into to assist with all their self-help need. New customer will only have to register for access once. Features like linking accounts will only have to be performed in once. Customer who try and setup features like E-billing will not mistakenly try in the incorrect portal. When trouble shooting issues with customers over the phone, Customer Service Representatives will not have gone through the additional line of questioning to figure out which portal the customer is having trouble with. These additional questions tend to frustrate customers as they can come off as worthless, but a require to ensure we are all on the same page.

Since SmartHub is fully integrated with our billing software the exchange of data will be smoother. Timing delays with bills posting to Invoice Cloud, and payments appearing on SmartHub will stop. Payment will post to customers’ accounts in real time, verse a 24-hour delay. Previous integration issues between our Billing software and Invoice Cloud will be a thing of the past.

 

If I had payment information stored in Invoice Cloud, will it be automatically transferred to SmartHub?

Unfortunately, due to PCI Compliance laws and technical reasons, your data will not automatically be transferred from Invoice Cloud to SmartHub. All payment information will have to be added to SmartHub manually by customers. This will be a onetime process if you chose to save your payment information in SmartHub. Saving payment information is an option not a requirement.

 

What if I am already signed up for SmartHub?

If you already signed up for SmartHub, you are a head of the game. If you wish to make payment though SmartHub, you will just have to log in, and add/setup payment information.

 

Can I keep making payments through Invoice Cloud, after the switch date?

Once the switch is made, customers will not have access to the Invoice Cloud portal.

 

Will my payment history from Invoice Cloud exist in SmartHub?

The detailed payment history that lived in Invoice Cloud will not be migrated to SmartHub. Basic payment information that currently lives in SmartHub today will be available. This information will include, service type, payment date, and amount. Detailed payment information like how the payment was made (which Bank Account or Credit Card) will not be available.

 

What features does SmartHub offer?

Currently in SmartHub, Customer can log-in view their Bill, usage History, updated account preference, sign up for E-bills, set notification preferences and Report Issues. After August, SmartHub will also be used for making online payments via Credit Cards and Bank accounts. More payment detail to come.

 

Who should I contact if I have technical questions about SmartHub?

If you are experiencing technical issues with SmartHub, you can get in touch with our customer service staff.
Some issues might be quick, and we can solve over the phone. For more difficult items we might have to research and get back to you.  For issues preventing payment, your account will be noted and any charges that may normally occur for late payment will be adjusted.  Once we have a proper solution, we will contact you and attempt to correct the issue.  For more difficult issues, we made require your assistance in sending us screen shots of the problem which we can forward to 3rd party vendor to resolve.

 

Why sign up for SmartHub if I am not making Online Payments?

SmartHub is Belmont Lights customer account portal. Customer have the ability to view their account information and usage history. Additional feature will be added to SmartHub over time.


Billing:

Do you offer paperless billing?

Yes, customers can sign up for paperless billing from our customer portal, SmartHub. Go to the My Profile tab. From here click on the Update My Paperless Setting on the left navigation bar. Then customers can update their paperless preference for each account that is linked to their profile. Please note: if you want all your accounts paperless, you have to select this option for each account.

 

How can I view my bill if I go paperless?

Customers can view a copy of their bills on SmartHub, even if you are not signed up for paperless billing. SmartHub keeps a record of the past three years of your bill history.

 

Is there a discount or credit for going paperless?

No, there is discount or credit offered for going paperless.  

 

I spend my winters in a warmer climate, can I have my bills forwarded to a seasonal address?

Yes. Call our customer service department (617-993-2800) to setup seasonal billing.

 

When can I see my most recent bill in SmartHub?

Bills should be available the day after the bill is generated. Paperless customers will receive an email stating their bill is available.


Payments:

What are accepted forms of payment?

We accept cash, checks and credit cards. Below is a breakdown of how each form of payment is accepted:

      • Credit Cards- Either online through SmartHub, or an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) to accept payments over the phone (833-890-7731). Belmont Light’s customer service staff will not accept credit cards in person or over the phone.
      • Cash – is accepted at either the Belmont Light Customer service window at 40 Prince Street, or the Treasury customer service window in the Homer Building at 19 Moore Street.
      • Checks – Checks are accepted at both customer service windows, plus the drop box outside both locations. You can also mail payments to the address on the remittance portion of you bill . Please tear off this portion of your bill and return it with your check.
      • E-Check/ACH – Customers also have the option of using their bank’s bill pay software and sending an electronic payment. We now have an online bank exchange with Mastercard. The majority of major banks are part of this program. This means that the funds will be electronically transferred to us on a next day basis. Some smaller banks may not participate in this program. This doesn’t mean you can’t pay with your banking software, just that they will cut a physical check and mail it. It may take longer for these payments to post to your account.

 

Are there any requirements for writing a check?
      • When filling out a check, please use Blue or Black ink. Check should not be written in red ink, pencil or crayon as they will be rejected from automated check processing machines used by banks.
      • Remember to write as legibly as possible.
      • Use today’s date. Do not future date the check.
      • Write your account number on the memo field of the check.
      • Make the check out to Belmont Light, or Town of Belmont.
      • Make sure the written amount is correct. This field is the legal amount field. Banks will only process a check for the value written here, not the numeric amount in the box.
      • Remember to sign the Check.

 

Does Belmont Light accept payments for the Water/Sewer Department?

Yes. Belmont Light does the billing for the Water/Sewer department. We also accept payments on their behalf. All payment methods available for Light bills are also available for Water/Sewer bills.

 

Do you accept Credit Cards

Yes, we accept Discover, Mastercard and Visa. In order to use your credit card, you will either have to pay online via SmartHub, or over an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) at 833-890-7731. Belmont Light Customer Service representatives cannot accept credit cards in person or over the phone.

 

What type of Credit Cards are accepted

Discover, Mastercard and Visa are accepted credit card. Please note, customer service does not accept credit card in person or over the phone.

 

Is there a limit on how much I can pay with a Credit Card?

Yes, the current limit is $1,000. This may be subject to change.

 

Can I schedule a one-time payment in advance?

Yes, you can schedule future one-time payments. Are you leaving on vacations and won’t be around to make a payment when your funds become available in your bank account? You can set up a one-time payment that is schedule to pay on a future date of your choosing.  

 

Can I make a payment over the phone?

Yes. Belmont Light has an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) service to accept payments over the phone. The number is 833-890-7731. Customers can pay by bank account or with a Credit Card with this service. Belmont Light Customer Service representatives cannot accept credit cards in person or over the phone.

 

Does Belmont Light offer Autopayment?

Yes. Customers can sign up for autopay through our online customer portal SmartHub. You can sign up with either a bank account or a credit card. For customer who are not online savvy and would like to sign up for autopay, they can sign up for a direct debt program at Belmont Light. You will need to fill out an application and provide a copy of a voided check.

 

What is Autopay?

The monthly payment for a recurring service that is automatically deducted from a checking account or charged to a credit card.

 

When will Autopay deduct my payment?

Autopay deducts your payment on the due date of you bill.

 

I’ve just enrolled in Autopay, when will my first payment be deducted?

If you just enrolled for autopay, your first payment deduction will begin in the following month. You should pay any current balance before signing up for autopay, as the first deduction will take place in the following month.

 

Will Autopay pay my final bill?

Yes. Autopay will draft payment for your final bill.

 

I’d prefer not to sign up for SmartHub, can I still sign up for Autopay?

Yes, but only with a bank account. For customers who are not online savvy and would like to sign up for autopay, they can sign up for a direct debt program at Belmont Light. You will need to fill out an application  and provide a copy of a voided check.


SmartHub:

What information do I need to register on SmartHub?

You will need your billing account number, the last name (or business name) on the account, and a valid email address.

 

How do I sign up for SmartHub?

To sign up through the website:

  1. Click here or go to belmontlight.smarthub.coop.
  2. Select the New User link.
  3. Enter your account information and choose Submit.  Your new account number is available at the top of your electric bill. You may also call Customer Service to request your account number.
  4. A temporary password will be sent to the email address you provide.
  5. When you receive the email, click the login link and use the temporary password.

Change your password and choose Confirm to access SmartHub.

 

When can I sign up for SmartHub?

Customer can sign up for SmartHub after they have received a copy of their first bill.

 

Where can I find my account number?

Your account number will be on your bill. If you are a new customer and haven’t received a bill yet, you will have to wait to receive your first bill to sign up for SmartHub.

 

Am I required to sign up for SmartHub?

No, you do not have to sign up for SmartHub. It is not a requirement to receive service, bills, or make payments.

 

Do I have to sign up for SmartHub to pay a bill online?

No. SmartHub has a PayNow feature.  This will allow customers to pay their invoice without signing into SmartHub. The function has a few limitations. This feature does not allow customers to store payment information or setup autopay. Those features require customers to be signed into SmartHub to utilize.

 

I have forgot my SmartHub password, how can I reset?

Click on the “Can’t access your account?” link on the SmartHub sign in page. You will be prompted to enter your account number, last name, and email address.

 

My SmartHub account is locked out, how do I unlock it?

Please call our customer service department at 617-993-2800, and we can assist you in unlocking your account.

 

How do I view a copy of my bill?

Customers can access an electronic copy of their previous 3 years bill on SmartHub. Once logged in, go to the Billing & Payments tab. Click on the Bill History section. From here, you have the ability to view bills for each month. If you have more then one account linked in SmartHub, there is a dropdown in the upper right corner which allows you to select which account you would like to view bill for. Once you click on the view bill link, a new window will open with a copy of your bill. From here, you can print or save the bill.

 

Can I link multiple account in SmartHub?

Yes, while signed into SmartHub go to the My Profile tab. From here click on the Manage My Registered Accounts. On this screen you can add an account by clicking the add account button. To unlink an account, go to the list of linked accounts. Choose the account you would wish to unlink and click the unsubscribe button in the actions column to the right. This will remove this account from your registered account list. You can link and unlink accounts at any time.  

 

Can I removed accounts linked to my profile on SmartHub?

To unlink an account, go to the list of linked accounts. Choose the account you would wish to unlink and click the unsubscribe button in the actions column to the right. This will remove this account from your registered account list. You can link and unlink accounts at any time.  

 

I am not seeing all my accounts then I log on. How can I fix this?

This is because the account(s) you are not seeing are not linked to your SmartHub profile. To link your account, go to the My profile tab. From here click on the Manage My Registered Accounts. On this screen you can add an account by clicking the add account button.

 

I am having technical issues with SmartHub, who should I contact?

Please call Belmont Light’s customer service department at 617-993-2800. Depending on the type of issue you are experiencing, we may have to contact our vendor to resolve the problem. This process is done by our customer service reps. We may have to reach out to you with follow up questions provided from our vendor to fully understand the situation and troubleshoot.

 

I am trying to register online, but I am running into technical issues and it’s not allowing me to register?

This may be a result from having the incorrect account # or name on account. Please call Belmont Light’s customer service department 617-993-2800 so we can assist you.

 

Is it possible to schedule a mailing address update for a date in the future?

Yes. When updating a customer address through SmartHub, customers will be prompted to provide an “Effective Date”. This is a required field and will control when this address is changed in our billing software.

 

Can I add additional users to my account in SmartHub?

No. At this time SmartHub does not have the functionally to register more than one customer. This may change in the future.

 

Does SmartHub offer a Mobile App?

Yes, For both Apple and Android.

NOTE for iPad users: if you are accessing SmartHub with an iPad, you must download and use the app to access your account.  DO NOT try to access SmartHub through the Safari browser as it cannot support the login.

 

How do I sign up for the SmartHub App?

To sign up through the app:

  1. Download the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store by searching for “SmartHub” (not case sensitive but must be all one word).  If duplicates appear, our partner, National Information Solutions Cooperative, provides the correct app.
  2. Find Belmont Light by location or name and Confirm.
  3. Select the New User link.
  4. Enter your account information and choose Register.
  5. A temporary password will be sent to the email address you provide.
  6. When you receive the email, click the login link and use the temporary password.

Change your password and choose Continue to access the SmartHub app.

 

What do the color codes represent on the mobile application My Usage screen?

The colors represent a visual indication of your usage.  Red indicates the highest usage for the range of days displayed, brown is the second highest, etc.  Green indicates average usage.

 

When will I see my payment posted on my account in SmartHub?

Your payment should update your account right away. You will see your balance due lessen by your payment amount after you have submitted your payment on SmartHub.

 

What is the recommended screen resolution for SmartHub on the web?

1280 x 1024

 

Are Belmont Light and SmartHub PCI compliant?

Yes, Belmont Light and SmartHub are PCI Complaint and have a yearly review process of our compliance with our credit card processor.

 

What is PCI compliant?

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance refers to the technical and operational standards that businesses must follow to ensure that credit card data provided by cardholders is protected. PCI compliance is enforced by the PCI Standards Council, and all businesses that store, process or transmit credit card data electronically are required to follow the compliance guidelines.

 

Why does PCI compliance matter?

PCI compliance help protects consumer’s card data. To be compliant, companies have to meet PCI Standards, which define standard operating procedures around keep card data secure. Companies that are not PCI complaint could be placing card holder’s data at greater risk of being compromised.

 

Does Belmont Light share any of my personal data with third parties?

Belmont Light does not sell or share any customer data to any 3rd party vendors. We only provide information in accordance with Massachusetts Public Record Laws on public records request. For more information around these laws, please go to Belmont Light’s Public Records Request page.