Jun 152014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Other than online bill payment, many countries have outlets that facilitate bill payment for most companies including utilities and other privet billers. Easy Bill is such a company that has a chain of outlets across the country for acting as one-stop-shop for bill payments, mobile phone and TV service top up, air ticket booking, train and bus ticket booking. It is a part of The Hero Group.

All a customer needs to do is walk into any of the Easy Bill outlets nearby and present the paper bill to the representative who enquires for the bill through the customer account number, amount and other details and submits it to the biller to instantly receive confirmation. The customer is then given the acknowledgement of the payment.

Easy Bill IndiaEasy Bill has over 10000 outlets spread across India, including pharmacies, grocery stores, mobile phone stores and other convenient locations which customers visit frequently. They are present in 100 Indian cities and have plans to expand to 250 cities in the near future. Bills that are supported include utility bills, mobile phone and telephone bills, insurance and so on. They have also partnered with major airlines, Indian Railway, major entertainment and sports channels and several bus operators in India.

Charges and billers supported may be different for each city. The support for each city can be checked from here. They also have a store locator on their website, but unfortunately, it is not working. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon, but if it isn’t, a store can be located by speaking with their customer service agents at the toll free number: 1800 11 7575.

They have a good range of services offered and they are working on more services including movie tickets. Something they could start is online services where they can offer all the services currently offered, online. Most of these services are accessible online, individually from their respective websites. But if Easy Bill can offer online payment services for all of these, it will be great.

Apr 102014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Bill payment has become so easy today that with a few clicks in a few seconds, we can pay our bills while at home or on the go. Billeo, a leading online shopping and bill pay service provider works towards simplifying and speeding up online and mobile payments. They have association with leading banks and financial institutions, over 20000 billers, 1500 merchants and have over 1.5 million customers.

Their services include XpressBuy and XpressPay. XpressBuy is meant for online marketplaces, and it enables them to drive easy and instant purchases directly from their website or from the customer’s phone or tablet. It offers a fast, simple and secure checkout service across a variety of merchants. This works with a “Buy” button which the merchants add on their websites. XpressBuy supports many of the top 500 merchants, such as Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Sears, Target, and Buy.com. They are continuously working on adding more merchants to the list. The service also works with wallets used by the merchants, and Billeo offers its own wallet as well. They also offer customer solutions such as use of social media in creating business

Billeo Online ScreenXpressPay is meant for bill payment and delivers a simple, instant card-funded bill payment service across a variety of billers. It enables a bank to drive instant bill payment with a bank-issued debit or credit card right from the bank’s existing bill payment tool. XpressPay looks up the amount and date due of a bill and completes the bill pay process in just a few seconds, from any online or mobile device. A bank enables XpressPay by placing a “Pay Now” button next to a supported biller. The customers click this button and are redirected to the payment gateway, without leaving the bank’s website.

Billeo’s XpressPay and XpressBuy solutions are available to customers through merchants and financial institutions. They also offer a browser app which works with Internet Explorer and Firefox as a browser add-on to help manage online financial transactions in a faster and more organized way. Billeo’s Bill Pay Assistant allows users to pay bills from more than 11,000 sources, like water delivery, rent, taxes and medical bills. It also includes reminders for due bills.

Billeo’s services are good for financial institutions who intend to engage better with their customers, and for the merchants who want a simple checkout process.

Apr 032014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

UK mobile operators have come up with a service to enable their subscribers to charge their phone bill or prepaid credit for online shopping. The service is called Payforit and it provides a common framework for mobile billing. All major UK mobile operators including the MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) support the service and many retailers accept it as a method of payment.

Payforit is a trusted safe and simple method of charging consumers for goods and services bought through mobile sites or the web. This service does not require the users to sign up or fill any form, nor does it require them to enter bank account or card details, all they have to do is click the “Pay Now” button.

PayforitPayforit is available for use on mobile phones, as well as on computers. On a computer, when users click on ‘Pay Now’, they are requested to enter their mobile number. A unique code is then sent to that number by SMS, which is supposed to be entered on the website to complete the payment. Mobile users only have to click on one button to complete the payment.

Many retailers have opted to use this as a method of accepting payments because it is quick, easy and official. In addition, the potential of mobile payments is very high; according to predictions, they could even replace card payments in the future. Payforit presents the correct rates according to the rate regulator, PhonepayPlus. So, there is no chance of extra charges appearing on the phone bill.

A disadvantage of this service is that it is not password protected, which means that anyone can make transactions if they have the phone, causing the charges to appear on the phone owner’s bill. In addition, anyone who uses the phone’s internet data connection via tethering can make transactions while the charges are applied to the owner’s bill. This can be avoided by appropriately locking the web services to be used only by the owner and not sharing the phone’s internet connection, except when necessary for personal purposes. Otherwise, Payforit is a great initiative which is not just official, but also convenient.

Dec 242013
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Shopping has been traditionally limited to stores, where customers walked in, chose products and checked out after paying for them. Then came the online shopping sites, where customers chose products, paid using their credit/debit cards and the merchandise was delivered to their homes.

UK retailer Tesco launched this unique way of shopping, which they called “virtual store”. Initially launched in Korea at a subway station, now even UK has it at the Gatwick Airport. It is called a virtual store, because no physical product is available here; it is just bill boards and touch screens.

Tesco's Subway Store

While people wait for their trains at the subway station, they can take a look at the virtual store and if they want to buy a product, they simply need to launch Tesco’s dedicated smartphone app and scan the QR code for that product, select the product and add to the cart. When the shopping is complete, payment is done through the same app which, which happens in a securely. The products purchased are delivered to the homes of the shoppers when they return from work.

Similarly, at the Gatwick Airport, people going on a holiday shop for products and make the payments using Tesco’s app, and the merchandise is delivered to their homes when they return from the holiday.

Many other companies adopted this idea, as it was innovative, as well as convenient. The companies include:

1. Walmart (in collaboartion with Procter & Gamble), which operates a truck which visits several popular locations in New York.

2.  EBAY, which has opened a QR Code shop in London.

3. Sorli, a Spanish retailer, which has established virtual stores at train stations in Spain.

4. 9straatjes (9 Little Streets), an area in Amsterdam, Netherlands where shops have collaborated with PayPal for payments.

5. PayPal, in Singapore, has enabled commuters at 15 subway stations to shop using QR Codes, and pay by logging in to PayPal account or using a credit card.

What customers usually worry about is payments, as they enter their credit/debit card details, passwords, etc. Like the secure payment gateway on a computer, these mobile phone apps use secure networks, which ensure security.

It is already evident that the concept is working successfully. In a few decades, perhaps, each and every bus station, subway station, airport, etc. will have virtual stores.

Mar 212012
 
Young woman paying bills

Make scattered bills a thing of the past by paying and storing your bills online.

Would you like to free yourself from paper bills altogether? How about being able to see and pay all your bills on one website? Not to mention saving trees, and cutting down on the 48 billion paper notices and bills sent by the U.S. Post Office every year.

A new service called Manilla.com claims to help you collect and organize your bills — everything from credit card and mortgage payments, to student loan debt and auto payments.

Manilla.com also has a free smartphone app, so you can see and pay your bills on the phone.

Best of all, the Manilla.com service is free to the consumer. It’s paid for by the billing companies, since they save money not having to send out paper bills. And they can post important notices like required privacy forms or billing practices online for each customer to read in his or her own account.

Terry Savage of the Chicago Sun-Times writes:

No more going to your mailbox or post office box, or risking late payments because you were traveling. Now the bills arrive in your Manilla account, where you can see the exact bill that would have arrived in paper form. You can see the exact details — even more than many billers send in the mail. And you can reach out to contact the biller or dispute a charge, just as if you had received a paper bill.

Manilla will notify you when bills are coming due, so all you have to do is click and pay securely. And if you have several bank accounts (for business and household, for example), you can choose which account to pay from when you are paying your bill.

There’s a handy calendar on your secure home page, showing you regular monthly bills that you receive and the date by which they must be paid. Plus, Manilla will send you reminders by text or e-mail when regular bills are scheduled to arrive — or if you’ve failed to pay a bill on time.

In a way, Manilla.com is also a records storage service, since it saves all your paid bills for years. It also has a search feature to search through past bills quickly.

I haven’t personally tried Manilla.com, but I’ll check it out. If you have used it, please let us know how it’s working out for you.

Feb 222008
 

Great article on TheStreet.com yesterday about paying bills online. I’ve summarized it here:

Say it ain’t so — you’re still writing checks.

After all this time, only around 28% of Americans pay their monthly bills online. If you’re still putting felt pen to safety paper, you’re missing out.

Online bill payment can help you to manage your budget, protect yourself from identity theft, declutter your life and protect the environment.

Here are five reasons you should sign up for online bill pay:

1. It’s Free

At most banks, there is no charge for using online bill pay.

2. It’s Easy to Use

You can pay anything using online bill pay — credit cards, mortgage payments, even the babysitter (as long as she accepts checks).

3. It’s Secure

Online banking is safer than traditional paper banking. In fact, just 2% of identity thefts occur online — and 53% of identity thieves know their victims personally.

4. It Makes Record-Keeping Easier

Moving your bills online will drastically cut back on the amount of paper you’ll have to file.

Better yet, you’ll have easy electronic access to your records — which is much more convenient than digging through paper files.

You’ll still get your monthly statements, as well. Some banks will mail you the paper statement. Others will give you the option to view it online. If that’s the case, follow your bank’s instructions to save a copy on your hard drive.

5. It Helps the Enviroment

If every U.S. household switched to paperless bill pay, the ensuing reduction in emissions would be equivalent to taking 355,000 cars off the road.

For more details, see the full article at TheStreet.com. These are all great reasons to make the switch and start paying your bills online, if you haven’t already. I’ve been paying all my bills online for about three years now, and I don’t miss all that paper at all. And I like knowing that I’m doing something for the environment.

Jun 152007
 

A Look at Best Buy’s Online Bill Payment Options

Best Buy Online Bill Pay

Best Buy offers online bill pay only for holders of Best Buy credit cards. Their online account management interface allows you to view your account information, make a payment or pay your Best Buy bill online, submit an address change and check recent transactions

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