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Mobile Shift Challenges Billers to Keep Up
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 7:00 AM

Billers are scrambling to keep up with consumer demand for mobile billing and payments, as only 12 percent of billers have a mobile bill-presentment and payment (MBPP) strategy, new research shows.

Fiserv Inc.’s second annual “Biller Mobile Bill Pay Benchmark” study took a look at how well billers are keeping pace with the growing consumer demands around mobile and the opportunities and challenges billers face in developing and deploying a solution.

Billers increasingly recognize the potential of MBPP to benefit both themselves and their customers, the research found. With 69 percent (almost double from 2012) of surveyed companies believing it will lead to cost savings from adoption of e-bills and e-statements, billers have a better understanding this year of the overall value of deploying such solutions. In addition, 90 percent (a 36 percent increase over 2012) saw the development of their mobile channel as a means to improving and increasing customer service, according to Fiserv. 

This year, 65 percent more billers believed mobile bill-payment adoption would lead to significant increases in electronic bill presentment and payment, the survey found.

Understanding consumers’ mobile preferences and expectations in order to build a comprehensive strategy that provides the best mobile experience across platforms represents one of the biggest challenges facing billers. Some 64 percent of billers surveyed did not track or did not know whether their company tracked whether homepage visits were coming from a mobile device or traditional laptops and PCs. Moreover, almost one-third of billers surveyed didn’t know what customers were doing when visiting their site from a mobile device.

Fiserv’s research indicates explosive growth of mobile bill payments.

“Billers have an opportunity to take advantage of this change by offering a consistent, simple and innovative user experience, which can improve customer satisfaction and lower service costs,” Robert Craig, Fiserv senior vice president, Biller Solutions, said in a statement. “Billers will benefit by delivering a true omnichannel billing and payment strategy to consumers, including a strong mobile presence.”

Though only 12 percent of billers have developed a mobile billing and payment strategy, an additional 24 percent said one is currently in the deployment stage. As such, billing organizations ranked mobile-service options as the highest priority, followed by service alerts and customer self-service.

The percentage of billers that saw the development of a mobile channel as adding complexity, cost and challenges decreased from 50 percent in 2012 to 34 percent. However, billers still struggle to meet consumer demand for mobile payments, with 77 percent facing IT resource challenges in regards to deploying their mobile channel, Fiserv said.