Why do customers want to pay online?
Consumers living in the United States have come to expect the ability to pay their bills online. Some companies do such a fantastic job with their online payment portals that consumers have learned to expect that all of their vendors have properly functioning online payment portals. For examples of great online payment portals, see www.duke-energy.com or www or www.nationalgrid.com . Tens of millions of customers login and pay their bills using these websites and online payment portals.
During the last 15 years consumers have learned to expect that all of their vendors have online payment portals. Tens of millions of customers have been paying their gas and electric bills for more than 15 years online using these online payment portals. A large segment of our population do not use paper checks and do not have paper checks.
Another segment of our population have become reluctant to send a paper check through the mail. Think about the risk of a check and invoice being lost in the mail or delivered to the wrong address. There is more than enough information on a paper check and invoice for a person to become the victim of identity theft. If a paper check is lost in the mail or delivered to the wrong address criminals may go to town with that information. More money is lost by consumers to identity theft than is lost to property crimes such as robberies. Many people consider it to be risky to pay their bills using paper checks. Even banks are transitioning customers away from paper checks towards all other payment options.
For over 10 years Banks have been encouraging people to find better ways to pay their bills than with paper checks. Banks are desperate to reduce the time, expense, resources and fraud that are associated with paper checks. In Europe, if you were to hand a paper check to a person, they would not know what it is. Paper checks have been discontinued years ago in Europe. In the United States the paper checks have been slow to go away, but they are going away. The internet and websites have been mainstream since the mid 1990s. Now we are well into the year 2015. Has the internet really been mainstream for over 20 years already? People aged 40 or less have spent the majority of their life using the internet. The internet is not a new tool for most people. The web is an integral part of most people’s life and thousands of businesses are at least 15 years behind online.