Sep 182014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

When people travel overseas to work and make money in order to support their families, they are often unaware of bills their families bear. Bill payment is usually a local issue and most solutions are designed to let users pay their bills locally or in many cases, nationally as well. International bill pay is a rare service which not all service providers offer.

Money Move IT is a New Zealand based company that offers just that. Along with international money transfer services, they also offer bill payment service to the senders based in many countries, not just New Zealand. I wrote about their money transfer service, now let us have a look at their bill pay service in this post.

Money Move ITIf the sender knows the bank details of the biller in home country, they can pay the bills just like making a regular transfer. But in case the details are not known, then the biller needs to be pre-registered with Money Move IT to receive international funds towards local services. Senders just need to search for the company name and select an appropriate one, before providing the customer account number and sending enough money to cover the bills.

Currently, companies that pre-register with Money Move IT include utilities and schools, but they will be expanding this network soon. The senders can also request the company to sign up to receive the payments by directly contacting them using the ’Tell a Friend’ form or by providing their details to Money Move IT using the contact us form.

With this, senders can support their families better by paying their bills electronically and freeing them from the task of having their bills paid. In addition, automatic payments can also be setup for such bill payment. To use this service, one has to sign up for an account with Money Move IT, which enables them to send and receive money.

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Sep 162014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

There are many bill payment services that offer same day service as well, along with the usual bill pay that takes between 2 and 5 days. Same day bill pay is an add-on service offered by the service providers including banks and other organizations. Let’s now talk about an organization that specializes in same day payments.

MUFG Union Bank, a full service bank with branches all over the US offers same day payment service and specializes in it. In fact, the website to access this service is www.samedaypay.com/samedaypay. The service is powered by BankServ, an expert in electronic payments; they offer various solutions that automate payments.

SameDayPayWith this service, payment can be sent to the biller on the same day, provided the payment is initiated by 2:00 PM Pacific Time. Transactions are completed using ACH transfers and not using checks. Most supported billers accept echecks and credit card payments, and echeck payments can be made using any checking or savings account. Credit cards supported include AMEX, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Most billers receive the payment within 24 hours of the initiation of the transaction, and the payer receives a confirmation, but it may take up to 48 hours for their account to be debited. A bill can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance if the user is paying with echecks, and such payments can be cancelled at any time before 4:00 PM Pacific Time of the scheduled payment date.

The service is great because it is designed for payments being made at the last minute on or near the due date. Some billers may charge for the service, but SameDayPay does not charge any fee, except in case of a returned payment. This demo can be accessed to learn more about how the service works. Users can register online to start paying bills and have the payment delivered on the same day.

I could not find information on the supported billers, so the users are advised to register only after having enquired enough about the same.

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Sep 152014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In a country like China, which has hundreds or thousands of industries with reach in almost every corner of the world, developments are rapid. But it is still termed a developing economy, because its per capita income is only a fraction of that is developed nations. In addition, over 98 million people remained under poverty line as in 2012; this is the second largest number of poor people in the world after India, as reported by the World Bank.

2011 was a difficult year for Chinese economy, a bank that remained committed to the development of the country was Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The bank offers products and solutions to all their customers and has 4.11 million corporate clients and 282 million individual customers, who benefit from the services through 16648 outlets across China, 239 overseas subsidiaries and a global network of more than 1669 correspondent banks as well as Internet Banking, Telephone Banking and Self-service Banking.

 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China LimitedCorporate Internet Banking customers can also benefit from the bill pay service, which is a result of the cooperation between ICBC and billers across China. This includes both personal and corporate customers. All transactions take place in the real time and money is transferred from the customer’s account to the biller when the payment is approved.

Customers can pay local and national bills, right from their online banking account and can rest assured that the payment will be automatically settled. They can also enquire about the bills, as long as the biller is supported by ICBC.

In order to use the online bill pay service, one must be a customer of the bank with access to internet banking. And they need to pay a fee for using the service, which would be specified at the time of signing up for it or using it. If the customers are interested to know the details, they may contact the bank through the hot line, 95588 or by sending a request online.

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Sep 092014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

American Express has this product called Bluebird, which has many features including bill pay. It is a complete solution for personal financial management. Just like any other bill pay service, Bluebird makes it easy to have all bills paid. In fact, users can pay any individual apart from paying bills. This saves them the time to visit a bank or biller’s premises and costs of stamps, envelopes and other related services.

Users can pay bills online or using the Bluebird mobile app. To pay a bill, one has to be a registered user and has to login to the Bluebird account. Among the many features, ‘Pay Bills’ has to be chosen. After having done that, a payee has to be added from the existing list or a new payee has to be added.

BluebirdOnce a payee has been added, payment method has to be chosen and the amount has to be keyed in. In order to submit the payment, a PIN has to be entered, which is usually set in advance. Once submitted, confirmation is displayed and recorded in the Bluebird account. Following every payment, a confirmation email is sent to the user.

There is a monthly limit of $10000 for payments to payees listed in the Bluebird Bill Pay System and $5000 for non-registered payees. It takes between 4 and 7 working days to complete the payment, so the user has to schedule the payment well in advance to avoid late fees.

By using this service, users can also earn points that can be redeemed later. Any bill from rent to a car payment can be paid with no additional fees. Taxes can also be paid with this service.

In order to register for the service, one has to fill in this form and start using Bluebird to manage all personal finances including bills payable.

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Sep 052014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In Australia, most people use a bill payment solution called BPAY via financial institutions across the country. BPAY offers fast, secure and convenient bill payments through over 157 Australian financial institutions including banks and credit unions covering over 90% of the market. They support over 44000 bills for 22000 billers and 22000 sub-billers and process over 30 million bills worth more than $23 billion, each week.

The company is owned fully by Cardlink services Ltd., which is jointly owned by ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation. 92% of the transactions are processed online or on mobile phones.

ebppWith BPAY, users can get all their bills delivered right to their online banking account or their mobile banking account. This can be opted in addition to the usual paper bills normally received. It ensures anytime access and on time payments, apart from better control. More than 2.1 million Australians already use BPAY to receive bills and statements online.

Once registered, users can pay bills securely from anywhere they have access to the banking services. To get started, they need to contact their financial institution and get connected. They need to find the biller code and the BPAY logo to continue payment. After this, they can login and make the payment or schedule it for a later date.

With a mobile banking app, users can pay a bill by just scanning a QR code with their mobile phones. This ensures reduced human error as information is auto-populated after successful scan. With BPAY, users can view bills, store them and pay them either immediately or at a later date.

BPAY is not available to use directly. Instead its offered through another company, so the interested users should contact their respective billers to start using the service.

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Aug 282014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Electronic billing is becoming so common that it may totally replace paper bills in the future and customers may receive electronic versions of their bills on their electronic mail. The latter is happening in our times, but the former has not been stopped yet, perhaps due to adaptability issues.

Due to the rise in such services, companies have come up with solutions for other businesses to offer electronic bill presentment to their customers, allowing them to pay online, without having to even leave their homes. CenPOS is one such company that offers an EBPP solution (Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment) for businesses that issue bills to their customers.

EBPPThis is coupled with recurring billing solutions to allow the business to charge the customer periodically and automatically. The solution is aimed at going paperless and saving costs on printing and postage. It also reduces processing time and ensures customer loyalty due to the facility provided. Businesses can also add discounts to bills and add expiry dates to invoices.

SMS alerts can also be registered for being informed about the status of payment. These are coupled with high security and robust reporting tools to help the business analyze and take decisions. This solution works seamlessly with other CenPOS solutions.

Customers can enjoy the fast, reliable and secure bill payment service that is easy to use. They don’t need to login or register to make the payment, because it is frictionless. They can pay using a debit card, credit card or ACH or even tokenization and get notified with confirmation by SMS. They can also review bills across all CenPOS merchants in one place, saving them time and making it easier to track bills and manage finances. With recurring billing, businesses can also offer instalment schemes without any difficulty.

To get details on implementation and setup, businesses can contact CenPOS by email or they can call them at 1877 630 7960.

1 vote, 1.00 avg. rating (43% score)
Aug 232014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Mobile money operator, Telenor, which runs the mobile money transfer and service called Easypaisa also offers bill payment through the same product. It is a hassle free and secure way to pay all utility bills including electricity, gas, telephone, water, and internet bills. Bills can be paid at any of the Easypaisa shops, Telenor Sales & Service Centers, Tameer Microfinance Bank Branches, Telenor Franchises and others.

Users can pay at any time and from anywhere and complete security is guaranteed. The network of supported payment locations enables the users to pay from anywhere. Easypaisa is available 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week, so they are easily accessible.

EasypaisaAll transactions happen in the real time and instant notification is sent to the user on payment of a bill. The service supports around 25 utility billers across Pakistan and more billers will hopefully be added with time. No additional charges are applicable for paying bills through Easypaisa shops. However, paying bills from the Easypaisa Mobile Account has a fee applicable.

The system is automated and secure, coupled with automatic and instant payment. Anyone can pay a bill by visiting an Easypaisa outlet, but payment from an Easypaisa Mobile Account is only allowed for the subscribers.

In order to pay a bill at an Easypaisa outlet, users need to bring the bill and the amount in cash at the outlet on any working day between 9 AM and 5 PM, provide their mobile number for notifications and collect the stamped bill which carries the transaction ID and the agent ID. With Easypaisa Mobile Account, users can pay bills on the go, at any time and from anywhere.

To pay a bill using a mobile phone, Easypaisa Mobile Account subscribers need to dial *786# and select “Pay Bill” before selecting the bill category and the biller. The customer number printed on the bill has to be entered then, to get the bill details. In order to confirm, the PIN has to be entered and the payment is released. An SMS is immediately received with the confirmation, amount, fee charged and the Easypaisa Account balance.

The service is good for avoiding queues and enabling on the go payments, but a lot can be done to improve and innovate in this area.

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Aug 202014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

GreenPost, Your Digital Postman; how does the name sound? It is easy to guess that the phrase is for a company that works on paperless mail management, and in our context, paperless bill management. Such services are mostly found restricted to the US, because they were started there and the owners of the company wait for it to be established before it can be taken outside. So how long would it take to reach Asia in such a way? Very long!

Instead of waiting for that to happen, Asian citizens can use this service from Green Post to manage their bills online and pay them. The company focuses on paperless life and kn saving trees from being cut. The service is available in about 10 Asian countries including India, Singapore, Malaysia, the UAE and even Australia. The company has won several awards for their solutions and works hard to improve further.

GreenPostGreenPost automatically retrieves the bills and stores them in the free account created by the user, so that they can start setting alerts and making payments. Like other bill management services, this service, too helps the users track bills and avoid missing a due date, thus avoiding extra fees on delayed payments. They say that they store all bills in the archives, so no more forgetting, losing a bill or misplacing it. All solutions offered by the company can be accessed with a single login.

Green Post currently supports top billers in all of the supported countries. The list can be accessed here. All transactions happen on a secure network, so the users don’t have to worry about security of their data.

GreenPost mobile apps are available for iOS and Android phones for easy access from anywhere and at any time. They can be downloaded from the respective app stores.

The service is free for users while companies or billers are charged a small fee for presenting their bills and getting paid through GreenPost. This does not make much difference to them on cost, because the money used for printing bills can be used to avail this service. Due to its innovative and nature-friendly feature, it is like to be adopted by the people, if they get convinced about the security.

The service is available for payment processors as well. They can use GreenPost to offer bill pay solutions through their payment gateways.

 

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Aug 152014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Utah based, Zions Bank has over 600 branches and 500 ATMs in 10 Western states of the United States. They offer bill pay to their customers who enroll for the service. They are launching a new and improved bill pay service very soon, to simplify online bill payment for account holders and to simplify their finances.

Zions is a full service bank that offers all the products and services a typical bank does. They were launched in 1873 and have been developing since then, to reach over 600 offices in 10 states. They have been service the communities of the west for over 140 years. Because of this heritage and the community-focused mindset, their tagline reads “We Haven’t Forgotten Who Keeps Us in Business”.

Zions BankWith the online bill pay service, customers can pay mortgage, installment loan, credit card, utility and other types of bills. In fact, they can pay anyone in the US and can receive ebills from select billers. The service can be used at any time of the day. The service is free of cost for the first 25 bills paid every month, after which, a fee of $0.50 applicable for every bill. Charges for business bill pay are same as personal bill pay; but the charges on banking accounts maybe applicable depending upon the type of account chosen.

Court ordered payments and payments to Internal Revenue System are not supported by this service. For these payments, the best choice would be Official Payments. Users can enroll for the service by logging into their online banking accounts and completing the enrolment procedure. Zions guarantee payment delivery on time, provided it was requested at least 5 days prior to the due date. In case there is a delay on Zions’ part, they reimburse the late fee up to $50.

They have provided a bill payment demo on their website, but the link is for only the first slide. I have managed to gather the links to other slides as well; so, the users can access the demo from the following links: Slide 1, Slide 2, Slide 3, Slide 4, Slide 5, Slide 6, Slide 7. The new bill payment interface is coming soon, which is expected to be better and with better features. All existing users, along with their payee details and scheduled payments, will be moved to the new system; new users will be able to use it once it is launched. They can however enroll for the current bill pay interface, until the new one is launched.

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Aug 092014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Managing bills is a task that most of us don’t like, considering the number of bills we get and the difficulty in preserving them. Storing them in a dedicated drawer is a good idea and prevents losing important bills. Whenever needed, a bill can be taken and paid. What if the key of the drawer was given to trusted person to collect our bills and place them in the drawer for us to use them whenever we want?

This concept has been taken online by a US based company, Finovera, which is an online bill management company. They do not support bill payment at present, but have said that they would launch it with the next versions of the solution. Users can store any bill or even personal documents safely online, with access anywhere in the world.

FinoveraFinovera allows US residents to download and access bills and store them in their account. This feature can be accessed anywhere in the world, but only US providers are supported. Non-US users can still use the service for offline bill management and they can also use the Digital File Cabinet, where they can store their documents.

Both online and offline users can track their bills and setup alerts for due bills, in order to avoid missing a due date. For every biller or provider added, Finovera asks for the user account credentials with the concerned provider, to securely connect and retrieve bills and statements. The credentials can be saved in the users’ Finovera accounts to enable auto login and to avoid entering the passwords repeatedly.

Finovera supports thousands of providers and works hard to add more to the list. So in case users don’t find their providers, they can request for support. Most providers continue to send paper bills after signing up for the ebills, except those that require paper bills to be stopped before switching over to ebills and if paper bills were voluntarily asked to be stopped. In addition to bill management, users can also manage their money with Finovera.

The most important point of concern here is the security of the Finovera account. The fact that all the credentials are saved in this account makes it even more worrisome. But Finovera makes it clear that their systems are protected with bank level security and the accounts of the users are safe with them. They also advise that users should never share their passwords with anyone and should not use Finovera from a public computer.

Finovera can also be used on a smartphone and a tablet. Currently, they only have an iOS app, but they will be launching their Android app by the end of 2014. The ability to link accounts instantly and the fact that the service is absolutely free are just great. Users who are interested can sign up from here.

1 vote, 4.00 avg. rating (73% score)
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