Fiserv Inc. on Monday announced a feature that lets consumers upload bills to a mobile wallet via a quick-response code, pay the bill, and have the bill automatically update with each new cycle. The move comes as billers seek ways to leverage rising mobile usage to digitize bills and hike payment rates.
According to a Fiserv spokesman, two billers so far are “in the implementation stage” for the new service, called Mobile Bill Presentment.
“People are using their mobile wallets to store and access boarding passes, concert tickets, store discounts, and loyalty rewards, in addition to using them to pay at major retailers,” said Rob Houser, senior vice president for product management and strategy, biller solutions, at Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv, in a statement. “With continued growth in all things digital, people expect information to be one tap away, and this includes access to their bills.”
With the service, billers include a Quick Response code on the bill, which the customer can scan to store the bill in their mobile device. Information from Fiserv indicates the service works with iOS devices and the Apple Wallet, though the spokesman says Google Pay will be added at a later date. “I do not have an exact date on this as yet,” the spokesman says. Fiserv cites Pew Research data indicating 77% of Americans now own a smart phone.
The service arrives as faster-payment channels become available and billers look for ways to streamline bill presentment and payment. The service allows billers to serve alerts and reminders along with periodic bills that include a link for payment, according to Fiserv, which cites research it has done indicating 73% of consumers “want reminders that bills are due,” while 70% say receiving digital bills “increases their satisfaction” with the biller.
Such consumer satisfaction is increasingly important in this market, observers say. “The bill-pay market has heated up quite a bit recently and so it makes sense for Fiserv to more squarely address the needs of biller-direct payments,” says Patricia Hewitt, principal at PG Research & Advisory Services, a Savannah, Ga.-based consultancy, in an email message.
Such moves also are important for Fiserv as it seeks to expand beyond its customary financial-institution market and works to absorb First Data Corp., the big processor it announced in January it would acquire for $22 billion. That deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.
“It does underscore Fiserv’s strategy to expand services outside its financial institution-based boundaries and that’s important to the competitive market overall,” Hewitt says. “Especially as the company begins to acclimate itself to life after First Data, creating solutions that address broader segments of the market will be more regularly integrated into their roadmap.”