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Reply “P” to pay: SMS billing drives faster utility bill payments

19 March 2019, Melbourne: Trials of a new way to pay bills by SMS launched by Australia’s largest messaging provider, MessageMedia, have seen more than two-thirds of energy customers paying their bills early. This trend is reinforced by research showing that SMS payments provide customers with more financial control.

The mobile bill payment solution, FlickPay, enables consumers to pay their utility bills in two taps, by simply replying “P” to a FlickPay SMS.

Energy provider 1st Energy put FlickPay to the test last year and saw 68 percent of customers trialled paying their bills 10 days earlier than the due date.

Adam Landry, Executive Director of 1st Energy, said customer feedback received during the trial was very positive: “Customers really appreciate the secure and straightforward user experience that FlickPay offers and it also reduces admin time for us.”

Tom Dupuche, Product Manager at MessageMedia, said that the company, who already sends two billion messages each year on behalf of its customers worldwide, wanted to provide billers with a messaging solution that could drive higher levels of customer satisfaction, engagement, on-time payments and efficiency for billers.

“There is no need for billers to invest in building new app infrastructure. For billers’ customers, they only need to register once to use FlickPay across any registered biller, which could include other utilities companies, telcos, councils, real estate agents – anywhere you make bill payments.”

Research commissioned by MessageMedia revealed that over a quarter (28 percent) of Australians have gripes about the way in which they currently pay their bills. Of these bill payers, over half (53 percent) indicated that they find the current way to pay bills frustrating or outdated, and one in five said bills and reminders get lost in their email inbox or forgotten when received in the mail.

“With customers becoming increasingly mobile-first, it’s important that retailers are adapting their billing options to align with changing customer attitudes. What better way than with SMS, which delivers an open rate of 98 percent,” said Dupuche.

FlickPay is now available for use by billers and their customers. For more information, please visit https://messagemedia.com/au/payments/flickpay/.