How about integrating mobile wallets and eBilling?
I attended a Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce event last week where a couple of local mobile wallet operators were discussing their apps and views of the market. What I found interesting, was the very different approaches the companies are taking.
Yintran is a start-up and is very focused on p2p and b2c payments, with functionality that allows you to top up your wallet free of charge from your bank account, and also to transfer money out of your wallet, back to your bank account.
O! ePay is a division of Octopus, the pioneering contactless smart card company that launched services in Hong Kong back in 1997 and is used by everyone in the territory – think London’s Oyster card… They are understandably focusing on transport and retail tap-and-go payments – an extension of their existing business.
What was also interesting is that neither company had considered the use of their apps to pay eBills. Striata first launched eBill payment functionality almost a decade ago, and see the facility to pay from within the eBill as a great proposition for both the end customer and the biller. It provides convenience for the customer and faster, lower cost payments for the biller.
Mobile bill payment – a no-brainer
With more than 54% of email now being opened first on a mobile device, payment of eBills from mobile devices makes more sense than ever. And while our existing mobile payment channels work well, what we have learnt is that customers always want choices. If you’re opening your eBills on your mobile and have a cool mobile wallet loaded, why would you want to use another channel? With deep-linking into the app available, a seamless user experience can be provided.
The mobile wallet market isn’t going to be easy to crack, with giants like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay dominating the scene and many smaller ventures going to the wall – Canada’s suretap being the latest – so offering the widest range of transactions is going to be vital to create the stickiness necessary to compete. And more, higher value transactions means more revenue for the mobile wallet companies.
There is a compelling case for the integration of eBilling and mobile wallets; it will take a specialized eBilling provider plus a critical mass of both mobile wallet users and eBilling customers, but here at Striata we’re already looking forward to the opportunity to be the first to facilitate this!
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