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Thanks to a 24-year-old grad student, paying your water bill in Detroit has never been easier

Abess Makki, founder of CityInsight

Last month we reported about all the exciting ways the city of Detroit has expanded its use of technology to provide better access and services. Thanks to a 24-year-old metro Detroiter, the city has added yet another piece of technology to its tool belt.

A new portal and app has been created for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) so that customers can access and pay their bills online, with mobile devices, and even through Amazon's Alexa. The app went live in August and the city claims that over $2 million in water bills from 4,000 customers have already been paid. 

What's also amazing is that the city struck a licensing agreement with a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Abess Makki, 24, who founded the software company CityInsight, which uses technology to help municipal governments with their operations. 

"This technology is a win for everyone," Makki said in a press release. "CityInsight enables Detroit to collect more revenue, have more satisfied customers, and promote smart consumer habits."

With the new DWSD portal, residents can register their account, make or schedule payments, monitor payments and account history, track their water usage, and more. 

Makki founded CityInsight in 2014 in response to water shutoffs for Detroit residents because of thousands of unpaid water bills. He thought that if residents had a more convenient way to pay, and if the city made billing information for accessible, some shutoffs could be prevented. 
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