Planning to Stay in Business? Make It Easy for Consumers to Pay You

As electronic payments become the norm, consumers now expect to be able to pay their bills how, where and when they want – and with the payment method they choose. Whether paying an insurance premium at a small agency or submitting a car loan payment to a financial institution, consumers count on being able to use their smartphones, tablets or laptops to make that payment.

To thrive in business, companies and financial institutions must make electronic bill pay capabilities available through multiple channels. For businesses of all sizes, it is quickly becoming the price of admission.

This can be a problem if a financial institution's loan portfolio includes a substantial number of loans issued to non-primary accountholders. Mailing or walking in a check payment may be the only payment method available, especially at community banks. For customers who don't have access to a checking account or who simply prefer to pay electronically, financial institutions may need to resort to convoluted, inefficient methods such as a credit card advance.

Small and even medium-sized businesses often face similar issues when trying to accommodate digital payments. To help alleviate this issue, U.S. Bank recently selected Biller Advantage from Fiserv to resell as an electronic billing, presentment and payment (EBPP) solution for its business customers.

"Consumers want to simplify their finances and streamline how they pay their bills," said Sam Robb, senior vice president, U.S. Bank. "Our business customers want to meet this demand with the best and most user-friendly billing and payment options available."

The bank's business customers can now present ebills to customers at the business's website or through a distribution network. Electronic payments can be quickly accepted through a variety of channels, including online, mobile and over the phone.

Billing organizations of all sizes want to avoid the hassles of manual paper-based systems and, of course, get paid on time. In the Seventh Annual Billing Household Survey from Fiserv, 60 percent of customers said paying and receiving bills from a smartphone increases their satisfaction with that biller.

Consumers draw no distinction among billers, however. They expect the same electronic payment options no matter who they owe. For businesses of all sizes, bill pay capabilities through multiple channels are quickly becoming the price of admission.

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