By Mohammed Waseem
We have heard and read about bill payment services which exist to make our lives easier by enabling online bill payment, payment of all bills at one place, paperless bill management and so on. In this article, I will talk about cross-border bill payment services offered by BlueKite.
First of all, what is cross-border bill pay? It is a bill payment service meant for migrants to pay for the services used by the families they have left behind. Launched in 2012, BlueKite aimed at changing the way payments are made and to improve the way people around the world pay for services and utilities. They began with the proprietary cross-border payment platform, allowing the people to accurately pay utility and service bills from abroad and thus take better care of their families back home.
Money service stores were offered BlueKite’s platform to enable them to provide cross-border bill payment services to their customers. The stores charged a flat fee of $4.95 for the payment, which was split in the ratio or 3:2 between BlueKite and the stores. Their service helped the service providers increase collections and also solved the problems of families to pay bills locally. Their target market was immigrants to developed nations who have been traditionally sending money back home using money transfer services. They never intended to compete with money transfer services and in fact, claimed they were a complimentary service. They were like nothing in the market as they took bill payment to the next level. They integrated with many service providers in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Spain and few other places.
If you are wondering why the last paragraph reads in the past tense, it is because BlueKite is no longer an independent company, it is now a part of Xoom Corporation, which recently acquired the former for approximately $15 million in cash and equity. They aim at introducing mobile top-up and cross-border bill payment services which would be offered alongside their already existing money transfer service.
With the boom in the money transfer industry, every other company is coming up with an innovative service to give themselves a competitive advantage. With this acquisition, Xoom can reach new heights by enabling immigrants to pay the bills of their families, along with the money they regularly send through the service. The new services will be called “Xoom Bill Pay” and “Xoom Top Up”.
Development and augmentation is happening at the new development center at Guatemala City. The 30 BlueKite employees along with the CEO – Bobby Aitkenhead will now work under the banner of Xoom Corporation. Aitkenhead is now VP in charge of the Xoom Bill Pay and Xoom Top Up services, reporting to John Kunze, President and CEO, Xoom Corporation.