Thursday , April 19, 2018

Billers Turn Their Attention to Improving Payments on Mobile Devices

Creating statements optimized for mobile devices is the biggest area of development for new digital payment options from billers, according to recent research done for payment technology provider ACI Worldwide Inc.

The study by London-based technology researcher Ovum in December and January gathered responses from 1,032 executives in 10 countries at consumer-finance lenders, colleges, health-care providers, government, and other billers. When asked about eight value-added services either in development or desired for future offering with their payment services, developing electronic bill capabilities optimized for mobile phones came in first, checked off by 49% of respondents. Another 20% of respondents said they would like to offer such capabilities in the future.

Payments from mobile-optimized Web sites, cited by 46% of respondents, and text messages, 42%, also are popular payment methods in development, ACI said.

“The Internet of Things and mobile-device ubiquity have forced organizations to think about their payments strategy in the context of the billing and payment experience and how it can be used to provide the best experience possible,”Sarah Spagnola, directorof marketing communicationsat Naples, Fla.-based ACI Worldwide, tells Digital Transactions Newsby email. “Our research shows Americans use nearly 20 different ways to pay their bills. Providing a first-class mobile experience for billing and payment is one tactic organizations can use to engage their customers, drive loyalty, and collect timely payments.”

Targeted customer rewards came in second in the payments sphere, with 35% of respondents working on them and 26% wanting to add them in the future.

Organizations also are directing more resources into voice-enabled bill payments. Asked about services either in development or which they’d like to add in the future for their billing, as opposed to payment, experiences, 28% of respondents said they were working on bill pay from connected devices such as smart home assistants, with another 19% wanted to add the technology in the future.

“Voice-powered devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home have changed consumer behavior,” says Spagnola. “While it is still in infancy stages, many organizations see how voice could become the channel of choice for their consumers so investing in this kind of technology makes sense for orgs that issue regular bills (monthly or quarterly with the same payment amount).”

The biller research is one of four parts in the annual 2018 Global Payments Insight Survey from Ovum and ACI. Other new results include:

• Twenty-two percent of respondents said they had experienced a loss of payment data in the preceding year. Across all industries, 36% of organizations believe they are at a greater risk of data breach than a year ago.

Some 44% of respondents agreed with the statement that: “My company would not invest in fraud solutions that add friction to the customer experience.” This sentiment, however, is down from 57% percent a year ago, ACI said.

• Forty-two percent of respondents said their payment-related operational costs have increased since 2015, the first year of the study. “Organizations managing legacy and/or siloed payment systems could incur higher expense due to infrastructure inefficiencies,” says Spagnola. “They may experience exception handling or have to manually intervene, which tends to add operational expense.”

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