The one constant in payments is change. The winning platform providers are constantly iterating, striving to give the customer a superior experience, be it a biller or the end user. Today, I am going to highlight three payment platforms that have really innovated to deliver differentiated/superior customer experiences to end users and billers alike.
Dominant payment models available in the marketplace today
There are two models that dominate the bill payment space:
The Aggregator Model
The aggregator model is the one delivered by financial Institutions (FIs). Customers come to the financial institution’s online banking application and go to the bill pay site within it to pay all their bills. This has been the dominant model for the baby boom generation, and it continues to be popular among adults 40+. Traditionally payments are made solely from the checking account. Payees can see in real time how much money they have in their checking account and how much they have committed for payments. Fiserv’s CheckFree product dominants this space. Lack of product innovation in this model has resulted in declining market share.
The Biller Direct Model
This is the preferred model for Generation Z and millennials who now represent society’s largest demographic groups. This model has customers going directly to the biller’s site to pay their bills. Their payments are credited in real time and there are multiple payment options: currently e-check or card. If real time payments are not here now, they will be here shortly. Market share continues to grow at a high single digit rate and innovation thrives in this space.
Payment platforms doing it right in today’s digital marketplace
Here are three platform providers that are getting it right:
BillGO has become a credible alternative to Fiserv’s CheckFree bill payment platform and, like Fiserv, they are targeting financial Institutions (FIs) who deliver the payment aggregation model to its customers. They promote a newer technology stack that offers end users payment choice and a superior payment experience as differentiators. Credentialed & Non-credentialed real time payments and notifications are options in addition to cards, e-checks, and checks. Real time delivery of biller account information prompts payment alerts, reminders, and confirmations in real time. The real-time delivery capabilities enable this aggregator model to perform like a biller direct model in the sense that it provides immediate credit in the biller’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for the payment.
BillGO has built a lot of complex capability behind a simple easy to navigate consumer experience. They offer FIs a white label user interface (UI) or the financial institution can pick up Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and build out their own user experience.
BillGO’s unique economic model is also a differentiator. It offers FI’s an expense offset through a revenue share of interchange revenue on payments that are made using virtual cards. BillGO is a privately held corporation.
PayNearMe has rethought the payment experience by building innovative technology with an emphasis on user experience, customer satisfaction and reliability. They truly are an agile organization constantly iterating enhancements to their platform and user experience deploying new code weekly.
PayNearMe is a privately held company who is making inroads in the Biller Direct segment. They offer a suite of payment options for billers that lets their customers choose how, when and where they want to pay—with a convenient, consistent experience across multiple channels:
The platform offers the ability to accept multiple payment types including cards, ACH, and cash – plus mobile first methods including Apple Pay, PayPal and Venmo. Secured cash payments can be made 24/7 at over 40,000 participating retail locations.
PayNearMe supports the following verticals:
So, the key differentiators for PayNearMe are:
Paymentus bills itself as “The Next Generation of Bill Payment, Presentment and Money Movement.” They have a uniquely differentiated model in which Person to Person (P2P) Account to Account (A2A) and bill payment all live on a single platform. This is interesting because in tradition bill payment schemes smaller businesses and individuals have payments dumped to checks and sent in the mail. Integrating these other payment rails enable more of these payments to move electronically providing a better experience for merchants and individuals.
Paymentus also boasts of real-time speed, engaging payment channels and total revenue control. It is powered by the innovative platform that transforms performance and efficiency. Paymentus claims that its Instant Payment Network® are everything billers, financial institutions and fintechs need to exceed consumer expectations and meet their business needs. One thing for sure is having all these rails on one platform enables FI’s to lower cost by maintaining only one platform instead of three and having “one throat to choke” if there are issues that need to be corrected. Paymentus also boasts of delivering an integrated, omni-channel, single-vendor solution that offers more channels and payment methods than any other provider. It is a configurable, scalable, SaaS technology stack. They tout “it’s everything you need to stay at the forefront of billing, communication and payment innovation”.
Paymentus has integrations with more than 350 core systems, including CIS, EHR, ERP and other major accounting and billing systems, facilitate seamless payment, notification, and reconciliation to core financial and operational systems.
These three platforms are blazing the trail for superior customer experiences providing customers payment choice, alerts, notifications, and confirmations to relieve payment anxiety. You should look to include these in your consideration set when seeking out your next payment partner.
Contact us today to see how Maverick Retail Services, and our stable of partners, can help you to select or enhance the optimal payment platform for your business.