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First Financial Bank drives customer convenience with mobile bill pay

The mobile bill pay solution is called Picture Pay and lets users snap a picture of a bill and submit it for payment using the bank’s mobile application. As bank customers increasingly bypass traditional banking channels in favor of mobile, it is important that banks offer mobile capabilities such as bill payment.

“We believe that Mobile Photo Bill Pay is going to make our customers mobile champions for the bank – and advocates, we believe they are going to be proud to have this service and will show their friends,” said Jeff Casey, senior vice president at First Financial Bank, Abilene, Texas.

“In addition, the mobile channel is considered the new face of customer engagement,” he said. “The fact that it’s a self-service model is faster and easier for the customer and more cost-efficient for the bank compared to the brick-and-mortar model. It’s a huge win for the bank and our customers.”

Mobile payments
Picture Pay uses Mobile Photo Bill Pay technology from Mitek.

By enabling customers to snap a picture of their paper bill using a mobile device, this eliminates the need to manually enter biller and payment information. As a result, paying bills directly from a mobile device is more convenient and easy to use for customers.

The technology automatically extracts relevant information from a paper bill and auto-populates the fields required to make a mobile payment. The user then schedules a payment and clicks ‘pay.’

“Mobile Photo Bill Pay builds on the success of Mitek’s Mobile Deposit product currently used by millions of customers at the nation’s leading banks,”  said James DeBello, president and CEO of Mitek.

“Mitek’s Mobile Deposit is being used by hundreds of financial institutions and approximately $10 billion in mobile deposits has been enabled by Mitek’s mobile imaging technology,” he said.

Increasing customer retention
As mobile users become comfortable with using their devices to interact with a bank, they are embracing the ease and convenience, causing them to look for other ways to leverage mobile banking.

It makes sense to bring the convenience of mobile to bill payment as traditional bill paying can require ten or more steps to complete.

Picture Pay is the latest example of First Financial’s commitment to offering state-of-the-art technology for its customers. Customers already enjoy being able to deposit checks through the mobile channel and to receive text alerts.

Mobile Photo Bill Pay has the potential to spur greater bill pay market adoption and increase customer retention,” Mr. DeBello said. “Bill pay provides value in all four areas banks covet – retention, cost savings, revenues and savings.

“Mobile is also the channel of choice for Gen X and Y who do most of their daily tasks on their mobile device, and CEB TowerGroup found that mobile services are among those that keep customers loyal to a financial institution and make customers reluctant to switch banks,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York