A lot has been written about how mail and electronic delivery can work together. A good example of this is mailing a customer an abbreviated catalog to entice the reader to go online to view the full product offering and then purchase online.

I recently came across an innovative use of intelligent quick response (QR) codes to increase the use of electronic payments called Wowzer Scan-to-Pay. What is particularly intriguing is that it leverages one of the greatest communication changes of our time. Nearly 80% of the US adult population use smartphones, and more and more, email is read on mobile devices.

Clearly, people want to do everything on their phones. They can pay for their latte with their phones and Apple’s new iWatch, so why not also pay other bills on their phone? Of course, paying on your phone can be done easily if you have signed up for e-billing. Linking to a website is readily available with both the "PULL" and "PUSH" approaches to e-billing. This has proven to be the ideal customer billing engagement, yielding a lower billing cost, faster payment and a better customer billing experience.

However, there is a large segment of the population (greater than 50%) who own a smartphone that still receive paper bills. Since businesses would prefer that customers pay electronically rather than by check, why not engage them to pay through their phone right when they are viewing their bill?

Scan the QR code; pay your bill
By scanning an intelligent QR code with a smartphone or tablet, the customer is transported directly to the online billing profile page, where the user is prompted for payment. Scanning the QR code bypasses the need to navigate a website, or enter login information, enabling quick, secure payment capture with very little effort.

QR code technology is not new but its use for payment is rather novel.

Scanning a QR code can benefit an organization in many ways:
  • Increases electronic bill payment opportunities
  • Increases website traffic, driving higher engagement
  • Reducing bill payment exceptions
  • Reduces time to pay
  • Improves efficiencies
  • Decreases costs
For the technology laggards still receiving paper bills, why not make bill paying easier for them through a QR code? This marriage of paper and smart phones will improve customer satisfaction by providing an awesome bill pay experience.

Richard Rosen is the chief executive officer of The RH Rosen Group, a firm that provides solutions to help businesses improve processes and customer communications with the intent to create real, recurring benefits in: cost reduction, electronic payment, shipment tracking and printing/mailing. Contact him at RichR@RHRosenGroup.com or visit www.rhrosengroup.com.

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