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Campus Technologies offers mobile bill pay for University City residents

Satellite TV, Internet and telephone service provider Campus Technologies is partnering with mobile payment service Xipwire on a mobile bill pay program.

The program will enable 3,000-plus students living in Campus Apartments’ University City properties to pay their monthly Phillynet invoice via text message. Xipwire already lets users securely send and receive money through their mobile phone, but now it also enables many students in University City to pay their Phillynet bill through a text message.

“Campus Technologies is well known in the student housing industry as a true innovator when it comes to providing students with the most advanced technology and fastest Internet speeds,” said Sharif Alexandre, founder of Xipwire, Philadelphia. “They saw Xipwire as way to also provide students with the fastest way to pay.

“For Xipwire, we see the college community as a critical audience—they are early-adopters and are looking for more ways to use mobile payments,” he said. “They already use Xipwire at a number of Philly restaurants and shops and they use it between friends to split rent, so it just made sense to enable them to pay their cable, phone and Internet bill.

“This partnership is just one more way we can integrate Xipwire into the college community.”

Campus Technologies specializes in designing, installing and managing technology services for off-campus student housing to satisfy student-resident needs and provide student-housing community owners.

Xipwire operates with the SMS short code 56624 and certification from all major mobile carriers.

University City is the easternmost neighborhood of West Philadelphia. It is home to the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia Community College and several other institutions.

College students pay via mobile
Mr. Alexandre said that college students have grown-up on their mobile phone, using it for everything from banking and gaming to social networking and shopping.

And, while this demographic is becoming increasingly more dependent on their mobile phone, they have also raised their expectations with regard to functionality.

For this reason, it was critical that Xipwire’s bill pay feature be simple and secure.

To pay a Phillynet bill, a customer must first fund a Xipwire account by connecting it to a bank account, credit or debit card.

Then, users can text “xip phillynet <amount of the bill>” to 56624. A text of “xip phillynet 100,” for example, would result in an instant $100 payment to Phillynet.

Just as students’ demand for bandwidth continues to increase, so does their demand for all things fast—and that includes paying bills.

With mobile bill pay, students can pay their service bill as quickly as they stream video, according to Campus Technologies, which the company expects to drive adoption.

“We’re on the fast track to becoming a society where the mobile phone rules everything—consumers already use their mobile phone for banking, texting, gaming, emailing and reading, so why pull them away to pay bills?” Mr. Alexandre said. “With mobile bill pay, the money is instantly transferred from the user’s Xipwire account and is also instantly received so there is never a ‘pending payment’ as is often the case with online bill pay.

“And snail mail requires checks and a stamp—these items are becoming obsolete for today’s college student,” he said. “But their mobile phone is something they always have access to so this is hugely convenient for both the payer and payee.”

Final Take