Photo bill payment gains momentum
I noted recently that U.S. Bank of Minneapolis had designs on becoming the first domestic bank to offer photo mobile bill payment, a service that allows customers to pay a bill by taking a picture of it with a smartphone or tablet.
It may yet become the first large bank to do so, but tiny First Financial of Abilene, TX has claimed the title of first bank in the country to actually launch a photo bill pay service.
In January, it launched "Picture Pay," which it developed with Allied Payment Network. Allied Payment Network has partnered with Mitek Systems to create a photo system that will be available to banks and credit unions via Allied. It would appear that remote bill pay in this form has similar momentum to the remote deposit via photo trend that has swept the industry.
More banks are certainly pondering when to roll out such services. Some have rolled out phone-based payment apps already, but for those that haven't, it might make sense to skip forward to photo-based system. If the experience with remote deposit holds any meaning, phone bill pay will win out over other forms of mobile payments.
A recent survey from Fiserv found that payments initiated by a mobile device "still make up a relatively small percentage of bill payments overall, but gained momentum year to year. Eight percent of online households - representing 8 million total households - paid at least one monthly bill this way, up from 6 percent in 2011."
-see the survey
Smartphone remote bill payment gains clout