New SMS bill payment service opens door to faster cash collection
Upaid, a leading provider of mobile payment technology and services, has announced the launch of Text cheque – a new service that enables merchants to collect bill payments faster and more economically using mobile phones.
The new mobile payment application, which uses Short Message Service (SMS), is an ideal way for merchants to provide a simple, instant and cost-effective payment solution to the millions of consumers that will never sign-up for direct debit. It is a mobile alternative to the traditional cheque in the post.
With Text cheque, consumers experience the convenience of direct debit while retaining control over when and how much they pay. The service can be used for collection of any type of bill payment, whether for utilities, telecoms, store or credit cards, and has been designed to be truly simple for users. The customer’s bill arrives by mail as usual with the balance to be paid or minimum payment where appropriate.
The customer then receives a payment request text before the due date and replies by SMS with a short password, confirming or even stipulating the amount to be paid, if users have the option of paying a variable amount (as is the case with some credit cards). The merchant or entity collecting the bill payments then collects the cash from the customer’s registered payment source (bank account or credit/debit card).
“Text cheque is an exciting application because it provides a range of benefits for both merchants and customers. Consumers enjoy greater flexibility and freedom about when and how they pay their bills, while merchants can significantly reduce the cost of processing cheque payments and accelerate cash-flow by collecting cash sooner,” said Ashley Ward, CEO of Upaid.
“Although direct debit is an easy and straightforward way to pay, millions of people don’t use it because they lose control over their money. This is why Text cheque is so compelling. It provides merchants – whether they are retailers or utilities – a much easier way of collecting bill payments, while consumers retain complete control over when and how much they pay. This is technology designed to make our lives easier – not complicate them,” Ward continued.
The service is operated by IBM and is built on the same payment processing platform that is already being used by Visa International CEMEA to enable the recently launched Visa Mobile Recharge Service (VMRS) for mobile payments.