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.

Dec 212013

By Mohammed Waseem

Mitek Systems in association with US Bank has come up with an innovative way of paying bills. In this, the account holder can add a payee to their account and make payments directly from their phone; and all of this by taking a picture of the paper bill or statement.

All an account holder has to do is open the app on phone and take the picture of the bill. A list is displayed to select the correct payee from. After the payee has been added, payment can be made for the bill in question and recurring payment can also be setup for a particular payee. In other words, bill payment can be setup by merely one snap of the paper bill. Of course, one requires a camera-enabled smartphone or tablet for using this service. This app also corrects image distortion automatically, reads relevant data and auto populates all needed information.

Mobile Photo Bill Pay: Image Courtesy - US Bank

According to the forecast reported by US Bancorp, Mobile Photo Bill Pay will reach 33% adoption among US consumers by 2018, resulting in migration of 1.4 billion bills to mobile channel.

Forrester Research reports that it takes less than150 seconds to setup a payee and pay the bill. Forrester Research also suggests that this service will help banks gain loyal customers as they will avoid switching banks, because they will not have a reason to do so with this innovative service and they wouldn’t want to go through the hassle of unwinding online bill pay and establish payees all over again with another bank. So here, customers get a convenient way to enrol a payee while the bank gets more and more digital bill payers.

This app can be used for adding a new payee, setting up recurring bill payments, one-time non-recurring bill payments and for making expedited bill payments. This eliminates the need for manually entering data, drawing checks, or logging on to a computer.

This is an innovative and convenient service which saves a lot of time from the customers’ viewpoint. There have been apps in the past to scan papers and images with a mobile phone and extract text in order to copy and paste it elsewhere as required. There have also been barcode scanning apps for a long time. This app from Mitek – Mobile Photo Bill Pay runs on similar technology which extracts text from paper bills and scans for relevant information. But the difference is that all the fields are auto-populated on the app without having to manually copy or paste and the data is secure. So, this makes this app more convenient and user friendly. All the user has to do is review the populated information and approve it, in order to go ahead with the payment which is done within minutes.

According to The Financial Brand, Mobile Photo Bill Pay was initially piloted at US Bank, but Mitek is in discussion with several other banks for adoption of this app into their process. As Forrester Research suggest, this is both a next generation mobile banking feature, as well as a step forward in banks’ efforts to enhance digital banking experience.

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