Smart money: Bill paying goes mobile [Cleburne Times-Review, Texas]
(Cleburne Times-Review (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 06--Picture this: consumers can now pay bills with a smartphone.
The Picture Pay mobile smartphone app allows customers of Abilene-based First Financial Bankshares to photograph their bills, then submit them for payment.
"... users pay their bills by snapping a photo of the bill statement with their smartphone camera, confirming the amount to be paid and submitting the payment to their bank or credit union," according to the FFB wesbite, www.mobilepaymentstoday.com. "The optical character recognition technology within the app reads the data and confirms the biller's information."
The bank is the first to offer the app, said Tom O'Neil, chief executive officer at First Financial's branch on North Ridgeway Drive in Cleburne. The service rolled out in all of the bank's 55 Texas locations in late January.
The new app makes bill paying easier than paying online with a PC.
"Traditional bill pay can require upwards of 10 steps to complete," said Gary Webb, First Financial executive vice president of operations, in a statement. "Picture Pay ... truly makes the bill-payment process 'smart.' "
The app was developed by Malauzai Software and eliminates having to enter information for bill-pay setup.
"A surprising number of people do not use online banking bill pay because of the time it takes to set up billers," said Robb Gaynor, chief product officer and co-founder of Malauzai, in a report at www.mobilepaymentstoday.com. "With Picture Pay, it takes just seconds to send off a payment."
Although the app is free, a recent Fort Worth Star-Telegram column reported that rush payments would be $4.95. Expedited overnight delivery is $24.95, the Star-Telegram reported.
Young Tech-savvy smartphone users who use mobile devices frequently are an obvious target demographic for the app.
O'Neil said Picture Pay will facilitate banking for his son, a college student who does not have a checkbook.
"He can Picture Pay [rent] now on the right day of the month," O'Neil said.
(c)2013 the Cleburne Times-Review (Cleburne, Texas)
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