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.

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.


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.

May 062014

By Mohammed Waseem

UK based PaySwyft allows customers to pay bills in under one minute on their website. They work on paperless solutions to decrease the use of paper and contribute to the green environment. The paperless solution helps in reducing manpower, storage, paper and postage costs. In addition, it is highly efficient and cost-effective.

PaySwyft is an electronic bill presentment and payment provider that allows customers to view and pay bills at any time anywhere. Any company can use PaySwyft to issue bills or invoices to their customers and offers them a variety of payment options including cash, debit cards and credit cards. The solution is free to use for customers. Once a user registers, he/she can receive bills online, schedule payments, pay bills, pay by cash at over 22000 PayPoint outlets across the UK, setup alerts and reminders and store bills online to access them at anytime, anywhere.

PaySwyftAuto reminders help the users to avoid missing a payment, thus avoiding late fees. Companies may offer early payment discount or other offers to PaySwyft customers, which the users can benefit from. They also offer a service called Dynamic Debit, which includes recurring bill pay facility and setting automatic payment for amounts below a certain user-defined limit.

Any company can become a part of PaySwyft, present bills and invoices and accept payments by cash or cards. There is no setup costs involved; they have to pay as they go. Transaction fee for bill presentment is £0.25 – £0.50 and for payment processing, it is £0.06 – £0.36.

An amazing feature of PaySwyft is that if a user chooses not to register, he/she can still pay a bill. All the user has to do is go to the PaySwyft website, enter the bill details, choose payment method and confirm the payment. This service is called Instant Payment and can be used by anyone in the UK to pay a bill without registering on PaySwyft website. Users who want to register for an account can use this link to do so.

Feb 202014

By Mohammed Waseem

Many people consider it a pain to receive bills by mail and then pay each bill either over the counter or through their bank or on the websites of the service providers separately. In order to cater to this pain point, many companies introduced online bill pay for most service providers, all through one website. One company which offers a great bill management and payment service is PayTrust, which has been rated 10 on 10 in 2014 Bill Payment Services Comparison by TopTenReviews.

Payments for bills can be done on PayTrust website by signing up for an account. This service means that none of the users’ bills is sent to their mail. PayTrust completely eliminates paper bills, as all bills are received by PayTrust, scanned and displayed online in the user’s account. If the service PayTrust Bill Payproviders have electronic bill option, the e-bills are received directly on the PayTrust account. There is a monthly charge of $9.95 per month, after the first month of free usage. This charge is for 25 transactions every month, after which, every additional transaction is charged at $0.65, for which, receiving a bill and paying it are considered different transactions.

Bills can be paid manually, and automatic payment can be setup as well. Apart from this, payment for a bill can be made in full or in partial, as the user wants to. Up to 10 bank accounts can be added for paying through them. Payments cannot be made with credit cards.

If the service provider has not sent a bill or it has not been received by PayTrust, the user is notified. The user is also notified upon the arrival of a bill and when a bill becomes due. Amount is deducted from the user’s bank account, only when the payment is complete. The user is also sent a monthly summary of bills due and paid. Records are kept for 1 year for the users to refer to the bills whenever they want; this record is saved onto a CD and sent to the users for them to keep it safe and refer when the data has been deleted from their PayTrust account.

PayTrust is among the most trusted bill payment services for reasons such as its presence for over 10 years, great customer support, delivery of what is promised and the seriousness displayed concerning their customers.

Jan 272014

By Mohammed Waseem

Bill payment services have been in a race to make the lives of their users easier and convenient. There is one company which offers highly convenient bill payment service which is preferred by many Americans; it is Manilla.

Manilla focuses on paperless bill management. They intend to eliminate paper bills and to help migrate bill delivery and payment over to the online, paperless platform. Few companies have started online bill delivery and payment service. Manilla being one of them has been adopted by many Americans.

Manilla Bills Calendar

Manilla Bills Calendar

Migration of bill delivery and payment will take time as a few people still prefer paper bills which they receive by mail. However, even these people can use online payment services for payment and for storing their bills online. Perhaps with time, they will be used to e-bills and paper bills will be eliminated. They say that after having received so many bills, paying bills online or by mobile phone is often a separate transaction which is inconvenient.

Manilla addresses just that concern. With Manilla, anyone can sign up and have all their bills organized and stored in one place. Paid bills are kept in the archive to be accessed anytime and deleted as needed, and new bills are added when they are received by email. They also have a reminder feature which lets the user know when bills are due so that payment can be made on time. Reminders are received when they are due in order to avoid fines; they can be received by email or SMS as the user chooses and whenever the user logs in, all due bills are shown, apart from the dedicated reminders dashboard. Manilla also helps the user manage expenses and avoid overspending.

Bills can also be shared with family and friends in order to manage expenses together with shared account summaries and details. Nearly 3500 national and regional billers have already been added to the biller list. But if one does not find their biller they can always add custom accounts that Manilla doesn’t support, so much so that an account for babysitter, dog walker, etc. can be set up for payment. In addition to bill payment, Manilla is offering $5 for every referral users make.

Manilla has 4 types of accounts which can be accessed and managed from the online account manager. Household accounts for managing all household bill payments including phone, utility, internet, etc., Financial accounts for credit cards and other financial services, Subscriptions for magazines, newspapers, etc., and Loyalty Programs with various service providers. They have also partnered with AOL for the AOL Bill Manager.

Manilla mobile apps are available for download on Android, iOS and Kindle Fire. There is another company called Doxo which offers similar services. I have discussed about it in my previous post.

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