Posted by Alison Arthur on 06 Jun 2019
Americans love their mobile devices. After years of steady growth, ownership levels of smartphones and tablets have remained steady since 2016. And in some demographics, mobile device ownership is at near-saturation. In 2018, the average user spent more than 3.5 hours on their mobile devices per day, with two-thirds of that time spent on smartphones.
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. Mobile devices have also 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. The widespread ownership of mobile devices combined with 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 also 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, it’s imperative for billers to 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 pay their bills quickly and easily. If not, customers 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 login 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 login 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, 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 configure their accounts to make payments directly via text as well.
Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger can also facilitate customer bill payments. EBPP solutions can allow users to connect their billing accounts to Facebook so they can 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 they check an average of 80 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.