Why SMS is the Future of Bill Payments

Posted by: Tom Dupuche, Product Manager, MessageMedia

No one likes paying bills, but if we must pay them, the process should be easy and fast. Here’s why bills sent via SMS are paid faster and more reliably than any other method.

Bills come at us from all directions — via email, through an app notification and yes, still in the post.

Why not send bills via snail mail?

We receive on average less than one item of personal mail every seven weeks, so people don’t even check the mailbox as often anymore! If the letter is received, it’s easily lost with no record of receipt by the customer.

If your customer receives your paper bill, it’s a multi-step process to pay. They have to open the letter, find the payment details, go to a device, log in to the relevant site, find or enter details, and pay. Paper bills are outdated as customers prefer the convenience of electronic financial transactions.

Why not email?

Emails is inefficient in contacting customers. They end up in spam or junk folders. Workers receive 121 emails per day while personal email usage is declining in favor of faster platforms, so bills quickly sink to the bottom of the inbox. Open rates are low, and response rates even lower. The ‘busy forgetful’ — who make up the majority of late bill payers — won’t remember to dig through the inbox!

If the email does resurface, the customer still has to perform several steps to pay the bill.

Why not apps?

Many consumers are demonstrating ‘app fatigue’ due to an overabundance of apps. So an organisation must not only encourage the customer to download its app — which the customer may resent not least because it chews up data — but also ensure it quickly becomes a favorite, or it will be deleted in weeks.

For the business, it must develop and promote the app for good adoption rates. An app requires continuous maintenance, as well as security and risk mitigation across multiple mobile operating systems (Android, Apple, Windows, and Blackberry). Version updates are necessary to ensure the latest mobile functionality is used. All of this takes time and resources.

Why SMS works

Sending bills via SMS takes advantage of text messaging’s high open rates and response rates. It’s direct and fast without downloading or additional infrastructure. Virtually everyone carries the relevant device with them 24/7, and they understand SMS functionality.

The latest fintech solution capitalizes on this with MessageMedia’s FlickPay: a new way to pay bills on mobile by simply replying ‘P’ to a FlickPay text message. It’s a fuss-free mobile payment solution that lets your customers pay your bills in two taps, on the go and without an app. It’s simple, easy and gets bills paid — fast. For the biller, FlickPay sits directly alongside your existing billing solutions with no change to your business’s everyday workflows.

It’s so easy that FlickPay has a 95 percent customer satisfaction rate, with 65 percent of customers paying bills early!

Find out more about FlickPay here.