AusPost to coax bill payments via smartphone, smart home

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AusPost to coax bill payments via smartphone, smart home

Trials new range of options.

Australia Post is set to allow customers to pay bills via "third party payment apps", self-service kiosks and potentially smart home devices.

The company quietly revealed this month a plan to provide a broader range of bill payment options, particularly for "milennials" and smart device users.

Currently, AusPost allows users to "scan and pay" a bill's unique barcode from within the company's own mobile app.

However, making a payment through the app could be "cumbersome".

"Entering biller codes and account IDs were prone to error on a small screen," it said.

The company appears set to fix this by allowing third-party payment apps to plug directly into the existing AusPost mobile app.

“We’re opening up our APIs so third party payment apps can access the bill barcode - further expanding payment choices for consumers," bill payment solutions manager Bethaney Capasso said.

“You can scan your digital or paper bill using the AusPost app on your smartphone while you’re on the train to work, for example.

"The app has saved your preferred payment options so everything’s done in a few clicks. You don’t have to log into internet banking in a public, crowded space.”

An AusPost spokesperson told iTnews that the company had "established a proof of concept and is about to start a small trial of the technology".

Capasso said that AusPost was looking beyond smartphones to other payment options for its BillPay service.

These could include the rollout of "self-service bill payment kiosks to replace the wait at the post office ... [where], like a self-checkout at the supermarket, you simply scan the bill and pay by debit or credit card or EFTPOS in seconds".

AusPost is also exploring whether devices like the Google Home could support voice-activated bill payments.

"The postal service is preparing for millennials to become the most profitable customer demographic within the next decade, and is looking at evolving its financial services to take advantage of that shift.

"Already the move away from cash, coupled with significant increases in the variety and speed of digital payments are having a big impact on digital billing.

"The use of mobile banking in Australia nearly doubled in the four years between 2013 and 2017. 

"Increasingly time-poor consumers are more comfortable with online platforms," AusPost head of enterprise and government financial services Susan Nicholson said.

"For businesses, reducing the cost to serve has certainly made it a worthwhile investment.”

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