New service lets you pay your bills by texting “P”

Elizabeth Barry 20 March 2019 NEWS

Picture not described: smartphonebill_featured.jpg Image: Gettypaying bill with phone

Over a quarter of Australians aren't happy with the way they currently have to pay their bills.

If you get frustrated by bills, you are not alone. Research conducted by Australia's largest messaging provider MessageMedia found that over half of Australians think the current way to pay bills is outdated. Over a quarter (28%) of us also have gripes about the way we're currently paying our bills.

To solve this, MessageMedia is expanding its business messaging offering for billers with FlickPay. This new service allows consumers to pay their bills by replying to an SMS with a simple "P". The bill payment service could work for any biller including utility companies, telcos, councils or even real estate agents.

When billers offer the service, customers receive an SMS to register for FlickPay for which they need to follow a link directly from the SMS. Once they've signed up, they will receive an SMS with their bill details when it's due. To pay the bill, they text "P". Customers can use Mastercard, Visa or debit cards.

MessageMedia ensures customer data is secured and has partnered with a PC1 Level 1 compliant vault so billers can ensure customer card details are safe.

The FlickPay service has been trialled by energy provider 1st Energy, which saw 68% of trial customers paying their bills 10 days before the due date. MessageMedia's research found that one in five bills and reminders get lost in customers' email inbox or forgotten when delivered by mail, so this is a definite improvement.

"Customers really appreciate the secure and straightforward user experience that FlickPay offers and it also reduces admin time for us," said Adam Landry, executive director of 1st Energy. Landry also added that customer feedback received during the trial was very positive.

Product manager at MessageMedia Tom Dupuche said billers do not need to build any new app infrastructure to implement the FlickPay service.

"For billers' customers, they only need to register once to use FlickPay across any registered biller," he said. "With customers becoming increasingly mobile-first, it's important that retailers are adapting their billing options to align with changing customer attitudes. What better way than with SMS, which delivers an open rate of 98%."

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