Rotherham Council uses mobile payment solution for frictionless collection of £1.834m

Making smarter use of resources and streamlining customer payment with the Esendex award-winning payment and collections solution.


Mobile collection of £1.834 million in Council tax

Reduction in the need for in-person payments and letter/phone response

Up to 44% of recipients who interacted with the reminder SMS opted to make payment via the mobile journey


To replace phone and letter payment reminder/collections process with an automated payment solution that increased payments, reduced friction and improved the customer self-serve experience


SMS for payment reminders

Esendex mobile journey for payment collections


Rotherham, UK



Local authorities across England deliver social care for children and adults, ‘neighbourhood services’ including libraries and waste collection, and some transport, housing, and education provision. With three main sources of revenue from government grants, council tax and business rates – collecting local payments promptly and efficiently is critical to a council’s quality-of-service delivery.

By combining SMS and the Esendex mobile payment solution, we have a faster, more secure and convenient way for customers to make Council tax payments. We’ve increased payments through the Esendex mobile journey and have also reduced the staff time needed to administer them.

Rob Cutts | Head of Service, Revenues, Benefits and Payments, Rotherham Council

Challenge & Key Obstacles

Rotherham Council invests significant time and resources issuing reminders and in some cases summonses, for Council tax payments due.

The Council partnered with Esendex in 2016 selecting SMS reminders to streamline its activity and replace its resource-intensive letter and phone collections process. As well as delivering more self-serve options for customers, Rotherham Council also successfully reassigned staff from manual payments to other debt collection activities.

The team at Esendex worked with the council to design a customer payment journey to suit exact requirements and to eliminate unnecessary stages (for example by pre-populating council reference numbers and debt amounts.) The Esendex portal went live for the first time in 2020, between January and March, and again in June of that year after the Covid-19 lockdown.

“By reducing the number of required stages for customers, and by automating and pre-filling much of the account data, we have reduced friction and dramatically increased collections through this process.”

Rob Cutts | Head of Service, Revenues, Benefits and Payments, Rotherham Council

The features that changed the game: Stage 1
Pre-reminder and pre summons capability
Reduced number of physical reminders and summonses and associated costs
Stage 2: The Esendex mobile payment soution
Customer journey streamlined to remove barriers to payment
Security and integrity of the solution
Ease of customer use – i.e. optimised for mobile without the need to download an App
Improved payment access – particularly when people cannot physically attend offices
Results & Improvements
  • Rotherham Council collected £1.834 million over a twelve-month period (June 2022 – June 2023.)

  • The fully optimised mobile system, incorporating reminder SMS messaging and the online payment portal, resulted in monthly payee responses of between 17% and 44%.

  • Click-through rates of between 34% – 67%  were secured for messages from recipients who engaged with the Council’s SMS. 

  • In June 2020 (immediately after the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK, RMBC secured three times more payments in a single month (via SMS reminders and the mobile payment solution), than they did in the 3 months prior to lockdown (January-March 2020.)  

  • The nature of how customers interact with the council changed dramatically with a reduction of in-person visits and letter/phone responses and a greater use of self-serve payment options.

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