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The End of Paper-based Bills

Posted August 10th, 2010 in Opportunities and tagged , , , , , , , by Greg Bayer
                                

Question / Pain #1:  Why must bills come in the mail and be paid by snail-mail check (or sometimes over the phone during business hours)?
Question / Pain #2:  Why must the bill payment workflow be manual, resulting in waisted time and forgotten bills?

Answer:  Legacy systems & dinosaur companies

Use Case:  Bill from medical lab arrives via snail-mail 6 weeks after appointment.  No further reminders.  Did the customer get/pay the bill?

Solution Idea:

  1. Create a system to make it brain-dead simple for companies to request payment from customers via their modern unique id:  Email (not street address!).
  2. Send customers a simple email requesting payment.  Send reminder emails if necessary.
  3. Offer modern payment options: PayPal, Direct Deposit, Credit Card.
  4. Throw in payment analytics for companies / users.

Value add to dinosaur companies:

  1. Reduce customer service and mail costs.
  2. Increase likelihood / timeliness of collecting debts owed.
  3. Happier customers.

Value add to users:

  1. No more paper bills.
  2. No more writing / mailing checks.
  3. Automatic reminders + painless payments = no more procrastinating / forgetting bills.
  4. Better understanding of personal finance (partnership with Mint?).
  5. Happier life.

Thoughts? Please share your comments below.

                                
  • Disclosure: This post was written out of frustration after dealing with a similar situation.