As mobile bill payment usage continues to surge among American consumers, financial institutions (FIs) and billers need to innovate in terms of their billing software if they are to remain competitive.
Studies indicate mobile banking is no longer enough for the majority of FI customers. In fact, Novaria and FindABetterBank research found that 92 percent of consumers who list mobile banking as a “must have” also expect other innovative features.
Additional research from FindABetterBank found that 39 percent of smartphone owners have paid a bill on their mobile in the past 30 days. This amounts to 53 million, or 22 percent of, American consumers.
Despite these impressive statistics, just 12 percent of billers currently have a mobile bill presentment and payment (MBPP) strategy. However, this relatively small number of billers is in contrast to the number of billers who understand the added value that deploying MBPP can offer. In fact, a recently released bill payment study shows an increase of 92 percent from 2012 to 2013 in billers realizing the importance of MBPP to their bottom line. Of the remaining billers, nearly 25 percent say they are in the process of deploying such a strategy. Additionally, 90 percent of billers view the development of their mobile bill pay offerings as a way of bettering customer service.
The study also found the percentage of billers that see the development of a mobile channel as adding complexity, cost, and challenges, decreased from 50 percent in 2012 to 34 percent last year.
There are a number of challenges standing in billers’ way. One of these is trying to understand consumers’ mobile preferences and expectations. Obviously, this is essential to building a comprehensive strategy that would provide the best mobile experience across platforms. However, the study determined just 24 percent of billers have conducted surveys regarding their customers’ mobile payment preferences. Also challenging is the fact that 64 percent of billers neither track nor know if their company understands whether homepage visits are coming from a mobile device or traditional laptops and PCs.
It appears billers are increasingly working toward offering the bill payment technology consumers want. Community FIs, too, need to consider where they are with regard to their mobile bill payment offerings and consider innovating to meet the growing demand for this evolving technology.