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Banks begin to let customers pay bills with photos taken on mobile phones

August 30, 2013

Americans are constantly demanding more efficient means of making payments and purchases, and their mobile phones are quickly becoming the center of such efforts for many retailers and employers.

Americans are constantly demanding more efficient means of making payments and purchases, and their mobile phones are quickly becoming the center of such efforts for many retailers and employers. Even recurring billing systems are being re-programmed to better take advantage of mobile payment processing technology. 

The Ameriana Bank recently began to offer their clients the ability to use Picture Pay solutions for the sake of handling their bill payments. The software works with their existing mobile banking application to allow customers to pay for their expenditures simply by taking a picture of the bill itself. A customer snaps a photo of the bill with their smartphone, enters the amount and payment date into the application manually, and then recurring billing software executes the payment automatically. 

Representatives from the bank hope the increased efficiency offered by the software will draw a new clientele to their branch, illustrating the profit potential offered by optimizing payment processing technologies. 

“Today’s consumers expect convenience in how they bank,” said Jerry Gassen, president and CEO of Ameriana Bank. “With Picture Pay, we’re not only able to enhance our customers’ ability to make bill payments, but we’re also offering a level of convenience that sets us apart from other institutions. By putting another great mobile banking tool in our customers’ hands, we’re gaining a distinct competitive edge – it’s that simple.”

The Bank reports that their mobile application is currently used by more than 20 percent of their personal checking holders, illustrating the demand for such technology.

A growing trend
Last month, the 3Rivers Federal Credit Union of Fort Wayne became the nation’s first credit union to launch Picture Pay technology, according to the Credit Union Times Magazine. Representatives from 3Rivers also pointed to increased mobile adoption rates and better levels of customer satisfaction when asked about their motivations for instituting the technology.

Kevin Schull, chief information officer for the credit union, told the magazine that other online banking applications can often be prohibitively time-consuming, but that the options offered on mobile phones are much more streamlined. He insinuated this could help drive a new base of customers to his firm, and to others who optimize the use of mobile payment processing.

“Instead of having to sit down at a computer and login to online banking or having to enter each payee’s information using a tiny keyboard on a mobile device, members can now simply take a pic of a bill, key in the amount and date, and it’s done in a snap,” Schull told the news source. “This is about making our members’ lives easier.”

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