Mobile billpayment offerings and usage have seen substantial growth in the past year, according to research commissioned by Fiserv Inc., the financial services technology vendor, as summarized online in late March.
“Almost one in five visits to a biller’s website come [sic] from a mobile device—a 55% increase over 2013. Of those visits, bill payment is the number one consumer activity.”
The Fiserv survey/research also found that billers in general are struggling to respond to this trend with viable Mobile Bill Payment and Presentment (MBPP) strategies. However, e-payment providers—like VPS—are already there.
Where billers see barriers to implementing an MBPP strategy, VPS government clients see none, simply because VPS has developed a mobile bill payment solution tuned to tablet and smartphone billpayers.
Barriers to Billers
Billers named three main obstacles to implementation (according to Fiserv Inc. research): providing the necessary IT resources, conflicting priorities within their organization, and security concerns.
Of the obstacles to MBPP cited, only security has relevance for e-payment companies. And here, VPS has its government clients and potential clients covered.
VPS has several layers of security controls that protect consumers, and contingency plans in place for emergencies—inclement weather, system failure, etc.—that ensure minimum service delivery. From day one, redundancy and failover were built into VPS system architecture—designed by VPS IT sta and fully managed by VPS personnel. (We have more to say on the topic of security in this issue of TRANSACT, and will have more in subsequent issues.)
VPS e-payment programs have a built-in option for alerts and reminders implementation. They’re the most effective way to reach mobile billpayers and drive usage.
No Barriers for VPS Clients
So… the short answer to the rhetorical question posed in the headline? There is no problem (implementing an MBPP strategy). Not for VPS government clients/potential clients.
For state and local government agencies facing budget and staff cuts who otherwise might be challenged to develop their own MBPP app, this is very good news. Their increasingly mobile-minded constituents cannot only access information, they can do something with that information—like pay a bill.
With more and more billpayers migrating to mobile payment options, government needs a solution that both satisfies billpayers and is easy to implement.
Downloadable apps for tablet and smartphone is certainly one solution. But apps take time and money to develop, and they clutter up a smartphone. (If you’re Target or Walmart, an app is a branding opportunity. If you’re the Tax Assessor’s Office, you might not want to be in taxpayers’ faces all the time, if they are making yearly or even quarterly payments.)
A better solution is using “responsive website design” to create mobile-friendly websites that display equally well across all devices. Nearly all VPS payment sites are now mobile-friendly, and all new sites will be.