Paying bills online is by no means an innovation. In fact, at this point, it’s a struggle for average consumers to remember how to pay by check. But, as BillGO’s Russ Chacon told PYMNTS in a recent podcast discussion, the digital bill pay experience as most consumers know it today remains highly fragmented and cobbled together.
“Consumers are self-assembling their own bill pay solution that combines banks and biller direct sites. And they’re doing this because they need to — there isn’t a nice, streamlined solution, so they’re distributing their payments all over the place,” he said.
It’s an inefficient timewaster, Chacon said, which opens an opportunity that banks and FinTech companies are increasingly realizing they can’t afford to miss out on in terms of bill pay — along with the host of larger opportunities that come with it.
Why Sitting Still Is Not an Option
Paying bills makes for an excellent consumer connection point, Chacon said, because it’s something everyone must do, and it’s a process that everyone wishes were easier, more intuitive and more informative. This translates into an opportunity for banks and financial institutions to modernize the bill pay solutions they offer consumers so that customers can “understand [their] whole financial situation, not just how to pay a particular bill.”
Moreover, he noted, a billing platform must give consumers choice in how they make those payments. Whether it’s via a checking account, debit card, credit card or something else, all options must be easily selected and automated. Those add-ons introduce two elements that, so far, have been difficult to find in one place: timeliness and choice. Combined, they offer the potential to be a “game-changer for the engagement” that banks and FinTechs can both capitalize on, said Chacon.
“Bill pay equals customer visits, cross-sales and, ultimately, revenue,” he explained. “Providing a more engaging, complete bill pay experience directly contributes to all of those things. Everyone realizes that it’s critical in helping the bank or the FinTech grow that consumer relationship and the revenue associated with it. Sitting still is not an option.”
The Opportunity Going Forward
In some sense, Chacon noted, FinTechs tapping into bill pay as a consumer engagement point are moving “much faster” than banks. Unburdened by legacy infrastructure, FinTechs are in a better position to introduce some interesting and unexpected use cases by building bill pay into an overall financial management and time management infrastructure.
Most banks, on the other hand, must completely reformulate their vision of bill pay, and, as such, are working overtime to bring their customer back to their in-house bill pay offerings — now upgraded to offer an engaging experience.
Which is why 2021 is proving to be a busy year for BillGO, Chacon said. He and his team have been — and will continue to be — focused on working with a multitude banks and FinTechs, helping to upgrade the bill pay technology they offer their end users.
“And the third and fourth quarter is really exciting to us, as more and more people are going to have the opportunity to experience our platform,” he said.