Posted by Tiffany Taylor and Alison Arthur on 29 Jul 2021
Americans love their mobile devices. Ownership levels of smartphones have continued to climb steadily to 85 percent, while tablet ownership has remained steady since 2016. And in some demographics, mobile device ownership is at near saturation. The average user spends 5.4 hours on their mobile devices per day, and nearly every household in the U.S. owns at least one smartphone.
This vast ownership of mobile devices has empowered users to streamline many aspects of their lives, from finding information online and communicating with others to consuming media on-demand. The global pandemic has only increased the demand for mobile access to products and services. Mobile devices have transformed commerce experiences with both retailers and service providers. One of the most important elements of this transformation is the ability for consumers to make payments directly from their mobile devices.
Only a few years ago, estimates suggested that almost half of Americans made a mobile payment on their smartphones, and though slower in adoption than other transactions, mobile payments use is increasing. The widespread ownership of mobile devices combined with the increasing use of digital wallets, mobile apps, and P2P payments will only make mobile payments more ubiquitous over time. Customers can benefit not only from the handheld convenience of mobile-based bill payments but from other perks like electronic receipts, custom alerts and notifications, and direct integration to rewards and loyalty programs.
Considering that bill payments are among the most critical payments that consumers make, billers must offer a fully optimized bill payment experience on mobile devices. How can billers do this? Here are five steps to consider.
A mobile-optimized website is a must for bill payments. Users that make payments via a mobile web browser must be able to do so quickly and easily. If not, they might abandon the transaction altogether. Think about design choices like larger font sizes, not-to-be-missed buttons, auto-fill form fields, and limited scrolling.
Why make bill payers log in on their mobile devices at all? An electronic bill presentment and payment solution (EBPP) can offer a Guest Pay option that eliminates the need for users to log in with a user ID and password. Simply configure the system to request limited information (like an account number and ZIP code) to identify the bill payer and accept their payment.
Text messaging is one of the most-used features on mobile devices and is increasing, so it’s a natural place to engage with customers regarding their bill payments. EBPP solutions can send bill-related alerts and notifications via SMS text message, and users can also configure their accounts to make payments directly via text.
Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger can also facilitate customer bill payments. EBPP solutions can allow users to connect their billing accounts to Facebook to access billing information and make payments directly in the app via chatbot technology.
Billers might want to invest in their own apps as well. When a user downloads an app, it gives the biller valuable real estate on a device that heavy phone users may check up to 86 times per day. It can also push alerts directly to the user’s home screen and integrate to payment methods saved on the mobile device.
The Bottom Line: A holistic, mobile-based bill payments strategy includes components like optimized websites, Guest Pay, text-based payments, messaging apps, and biller apps. A modern EBPP solution can help billers deliver a seamless bill payment experience directly to the mobile devices that consumers use most.
Read more about mobile bill pay: Bill Pay the Mobile Way.
*This is an update on an original post published June 2019
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09 Jul 2021 Blog Report: Modernizing Payments Infrastructure in the Era of Real-Time Payments We highlight some of the key points from our Payments Infrastructure Outlook: Real-Time Payments Take the Lead report with Mercator Advisory Group.