Why BPAY is the payment method of choice in these difficult times

- By Collaborative Media & Publishing
BPAY has long been a fixture for many Australians paying their bills and in the midst of the coronavirus crisis it is emerging as the payment method of choice for an ever-growing number of consumers and billers.
BPAY payment numbers and volumes have largely remained intact so far in the coronavirus crisis, says BPAY General Manager of Business Services Keith Brown.

Payment volumes have been reduced slightly by some utility companies supporting struggling customers with deferred bill payments, however making up for this has been people who usually pay bills by cheque or at the Post Office are using BPAY instead.
“A lot of people that have held out from online and internet banking are now having to do it by necessity. And I think they're potentially finding it easier than they had maybe believed,” says Brown, who adds that he expects the shift will be permanent for many users.
It’s something Tasmania’s MyState Bank has noticed. The share of overall transactions made up by ATM usage and cash withdrawals through a MyState branch is down 29% from March, while proportion of online transactions, including online BPAY payments, is up 20%.
Taking advantage of the shift to online banking
BPAY is well-positioned to help companies take advantage of the shift to online banking. It’s an online payment channel that is already incorporated into 150 different online banking services across Australia and because it is already used by 45,000 different billers, it’s a brand that is known and trusted by Australian consumers and businesses.
In particular, there is the security aspect. At a time when people’s routines are disrupted and they are trying out new types of technology, BPAY remains a payment method that Australians are well-accustomed to using and additionally is wrapped up in the banks’ own security systems and procedures.
“You know who you’re paying, and everything is validated upfront,” says Brown.
With people wanting to minimise their handling of paper bills, BPAY View allows users to receive bills direct to their bank account and pay via BPAY.
For billers, this is a time when BPAY’s automatic reconciliation of bills and payers proves particularly valuable.
Helping consumers control their finances
“When people aren't in the office, it's harder to deal with issues such as payments not adding up.  You might need to talk to a number of people to work out what a payment is for, what it relates to,” says Brown. “You might not have all that information at hand. So, anything that speeds up that back-end processing and simplifies the reconciliation of payment has got to be a benefit.”
BPAY is also a payment channel that billers can promote to their consumers as one that helps them take more control of their finances when money might be tighter than usual.
Unlike with a direct debit, when money for bills comes out of an account automatically, bill payers using BPAY can choose when they pay and so ensure the timing of the payment fits better with their budget.
“Things like direct debit are fine when there's a steady income coming in. But when people are less sure about their finances, billers might get a lot more returns because the funds aren't there,” said Brown.
Additionally, many billers allow customers to make BPAY payments from their credit card account.
This  feature of BPAY gives payers even more control over when and how they pay their bills.

This article represents the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BPAY. Published by BPAY Pty Ltd.  BPAY is offered by over 150 Financial Institutions. Contact your Financial Institution to see if it offers BPAY and to get the terms and conditions. This is general advice – before using BPAY please review the terms and conditions and consider whether BPAY is appropriate for your personal circumstances.

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