Why bill pay needs to innovate to stay relevant

By Dan Holt, Co-Founder and CEO of BillGO

More consumers than ever are looking to their mobile devices to accomplish day-to-day responsibilities – and do them more efficiently. And with mobile payments, credit card readers, and digital receipts, financial tasks are becoming safer and easier to do on the go.

Take online bill pay, for example. It’s a fast and convenient way to stay on top of your finances. One-third of U.S. Internet users say they pay bills via mobile devices, according to a 2015 survey by Fiserv. That’s up from 6% in 2011 and 27% in 2014. But there are also obstacles to bill pay that inevitably deter people from using it.

In a survey based on bill payment channel used by U.S. Internet users, 33% responded using biller’s mobile site; 27% responded using bank’s mobile site; 16% responded using biller’s app; 14% use bank’s app; 5% using SMS or text; 5% use other forms of bill pay.

So, what’s the holdup with bill pay?

Bill pay doesn’t allow for splitting

While there are definite perks, mobile bill pay is still not built for people who share bills. One person can pay the amount from their bill pay, but still needs to split the amount and collect from the other person(s). The person-to-person (P2P) payment feature is missing – and that goes hand-in-hand for people sharing bills. Did I mention that 90 million U.S. adults are in shared living with shared bills?

Do you know where all of your bills are?

We encounter many hurdles that get in the way of paying bills simply and on time. Ever had auto payments set up on a credit card and then it expires? You have to update it in several places before you can go back to paying your bills. And that’s just one of the hurdles.

We also have a variety of ways to manage and pay bills, including websites, apps, traditional and email bill statements, and even moving money in person. This bill-paying process is extremely time-consuming, stressful, and in some cases, can be detrimental to our finances. Constantly missing due dates, paying late fees, and hurting your credit scores ultimately costs more in the long run.

So, what’s the answer?

I’ve mentioned how banks have been slow to innovate for the ways millennial live: almost completely dependent upon their mobile devices. This is where the opportunity stands.

I keep asking myself the same question: Why do we continue to deal with this chaos during a time where smartphones and tablets dominate our lives, and can do the heavy lifting for us by consolidating the entire process?

In an ideal world, bill pay would be simplistic. There would be one place to go to manage and pay your bills. The goal is to do for bill pay what Uber did for transportation, and Seamless did for food delivery: provide a mobile-first way to simplify a problem. And in our case, it’s splitting, collecting for, and paying bills.

Here’s how to solve the bill pay conundrum:

  • Consolidate all bills on a single mobile device

  • Empower customers to pay any type of bill – even rent

  • Allow for splitting of any bill and automatically collect shares for final payment

  • Make paying bills simple by snapping a photo or emailing the bill

  • Automate the entire process by collecting all the bills for everyone involved. Then, just let them know the status.

  • Introduce greater payment flexibility with any bank account, debit card, or credit card

  • Protect everything from one spot with bank-level data security practices – instead of several websites or apps with varying degrees of security

When it comes down to it, simplicity is key, in addition to adapting to the current culture, how people do things, and the tools they use. I invite you to take a look yourself and see how an all-in-one app like BillHero can solve a number of issues – so we can be smarter about our finances.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

jeroen bours