Welcome from Keith Brown, General Manager Business Services

Welcome to the first edition of B_Informed for 2014, the newsletter that keeps you up-to-date with everything that’s happening at BPAY.

Just to recap on last year, I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of the highlights of 2013.

I’m pleased to report 2013 was another year of growth in our 16th year of operation. Our payment volumes have increased by 6 percent. According to the Reserve Bank’s 2012/13 Payment System Annual Report, the total value of BPAY payments has for the first time overtaken the total value of credit/charge payments in Australia.

BPAY View also recorded solid growth last year, with a 23% uplift in bill registrations. During the year we delivered an average of 1.4 million bill statements each month to consumers. We also saw a significant increase in the number of Billers signing up to the service. This was in part due to the implementation of a new file exchange system that has made it easier for Billers to make their bills available through BPAY View. This change opens the market for many small businesses to efficiently send their invoices electronically using BPAY View. This significant enhancement has enabled the sign up of 130 active Billers to date. We are also on track to reach over 150 Billers in the BPAY View network by mid-2014.

Last year we also focused on making it easier for SME Billers to sign up and use BPAY. We worked with a number of Member Financial Institutions to streamline the sign up process of becoming a BPAY Biller. This included the development of an expression of interest form on the BPAY website that allowed SMEs to submit their details directly to their Financial Institution. We also worked with invoice generation companies with Invoice2go being the first such company. This initiative makes it as easy as possible for Billers to produce BPAY compliant invoices allowing their customers to pay a bill via BPAY. Lastly, we made it possible for smaller Billers to avoid the need to generate Customer Reference Numbers (CRNs) on their invoices by using their customers’ mobile phone numbers as CRNs.

Throughout 2013, BPAY continued its strong delivery of marketing and training support for its Members. On the training front, we provided BPAY training to 230 front line staff at over 40 Financial Institutions. We also worked with a record 50 Member Financial Institutions to deliver joint marketing initiatives via BPAY consumer and staff awareness campaigns.

In 2014, we plan to work closely with Member Financial Institutions to build upon these initiatives. This will include growing the BPAY View service via consumer promotion and Biller sign up as well as supporting BPAY enhancements such as iCRNs and QR codes for our Billers.

As always, we would like to hear your feedback on our newsletter and on BPAY more generally. Please send your comments to marketing@bpay.com.au.

I hope you enjoy this issue.

Results of the BPAY Annual Usage & Attitude Study

BPAY remains the most popular way of paying bills

Each year BPAY conducts comprehensive research to understand consumer preferences regarding bill payments and electronic presentments.

The results of the 2013 survey have been finalised and BPAY remains the most widely-used method of paying bills in Australia. The research was conducted back in September 2013 and approximately 1000 Australians aged between 18 and 75 were surveyed.

As a backdrop to the detailed study, we looked at consumer perceptions around their financial situation. In 2013, there was a marked increase in the number of consumers concerned about being able to pay bills (42% in 2013 against 35% in 2012).

Looking specifically at payment methods, 72% of Australians had used BPAY to pay a bill in the past 12 months. In addition, BPAY had the largest share of a consumer’s payment wallet with 34% of an individual’s bill being paid via BPAY.

BPAY Annual Usage & Attitude Study Results

BPAY Annual Usage & Attitude Study Results

BPAY as a payment method (compared to its competitors) is most closely associated with the attributes consumers look for when paying a bill, namely: security, free to use, easy to use, convenient and reliable.

In line with the 2012 results, the propensity for consumers to pay bills online and with mobile devices continued to grow. The percentage of bill payers making a BPAY payment on a mobile or tablet device jumped from 15% in 2012 to 25% in 2013. It’s anticipated this figure will rise as Financial Institutions launch their next generation mobile banking applications.

Electronic presentment is now at tipping point with 82% of the population now receiving some type of electronic bill. This is clearly closing the gap on the traditional paper bill (with 88% receiving bills via this method). Not surprisingly, the Youth market aged 18-25 years have already crossed over with 83% receiving bills electronically versus 74% by paper. This growth can partly be attributed to Billers surcharging for a paper bill. Furthermore, 30% of respondents said they have paid a surcharge to receive a paper bill and would consider switching to electronic presentment to avoid this surcharge.

BPAY Annual Usage & Attitude Study Results

It is likely this growth trend will continue. 72% of current BPAY View users stated that they would sign up to receive more bills via BPAY View. Amongst non-users, consideration to use the service is also high at 43%. The key reasons consumers sighted for moving to electronic presentment was that "they wanted an option that was better for the environment" and that "they wanted to manage their bills electronically".^

Based on the research findings, the 2013 Usage & Attitude Study clearly show that there is an opportunity to take advantage of the consumer shift in the way people want to receive and manage their bills.

^Source: BPAY Annual U&A Study 2013, TNS.

iCRNs: automating payments for Tasmania’s DIER

BPAY payments on the rise for the government department

In December 2012 Tasmania’s Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER) became the first organisation to implement intelligent Customer Reference Numbers (iCRNs).

This innovation was introduced to meet the needs of Billers that require customers to pay a specific amount and/or by a certain date. It is a handy feature for agencies that manage vehicle registrations and licenses, fines, permits, and for insurance premium payments.

We interviewed DIER’s Manager AIBU, Registration and Licensing Branch, John Mason, to find out about some of the benefits iCRNs have delivered to the business.

According to Mason, BPAY is the fastest growing payment channel for vehicle registrations. Around 220,000 payments will be made with BPAY this financial year, of which 35% will be with iCRNs. It allows full payment of an account to be collected, so that vehicles are registered properly and third party insurance obligations are met.

"Under or over payments require manual intervention. The beauty of iCRNs is that they allow validation of the amount against the account number at time of payment, which prevents this problem," he says.

Mason says in time, he anticipates a drop in manual interventions – that is, the need for staff to manually assist in the processing of payments – of 5000 transactions per year.

He states the implementation was quick and simple. The team at DIER worked closely with its bank, Westpac, and modifications to DIER’s billing system were straightforward, requiring only minor changes.

"Implementation took place over two months, allowing for software changes, testing and communication around a new BPAY biller code. It was such a smooth process it’s paved the way for the introduction of BPAY View" says Mason.

"We’re pleased we were the first to implement iCRNs. I would recommend them to any organisation that needs full and on time payment. The implementation process was easy and the benefits immediate."

Case study: Ski ‘n Save Snow Holidays and Snowy Mountain Holidays

BPAY unfreezes payments to holiday business

With thousands and thousands of bookings for accommodation, lift tickets and ski hire each year, it’s essential Ski ‘n Save Snow and Snowy Mountain Holidays is able to match each payment to the right customer.

Which is why it has implemented BPAY as a payment option.

The business books more than 9,000 people on alpine holidays each year, during the busy winter season and during summer, for both NSW and Victoria destinations. Most bookings are done online or over the phone by a dedicated team of staff.

Director Tracy Krahnen is responsible for managing the business’s finances. "We have customers who are visiting the snow for the first time and others who come back to us year after year. We get school and social groups – there really isn’t a typical customer," she says.

Krahnen was familiar with BPAY having previously been a software programmer. So she was keen to add it to the list of payment options customers had available to them.

"When we bought the business direct deposit and credit card were the only payment options available. Many times people input the wrong account number when they used direct deposit. But now that our customers can pay with BPAY we no longer have to guess which customer made a payment," she says.

"It means we can make better use of our accounts staff’s time because they are no longer playing hide and seek with customer payments. BPAY reference numbers are pretty hard for customers to get wrong and so payments are easily allocated," she says.

According to Krahnen, customers benefit from using BPAY because it is so easy to use and because money is tight for everyone, and having to charge anywhere from 1.5% to 3% in credit card surcharges can add to the cost for just heading out to have some fun. Having the option for our customers to use BPAY to save themselves this additional expense that can be better spent on enjoying their holiday or creating lifelong family memories is what our company is about – and it’s more efficient for the business.

Krahnen says payments are more streamlined since the business implemented BPAY, which is important for cash flow.

"When you’re dealing with people’s money you want to be accurate and BPAY helps us achieve that."

Another benefit for the business is that it receives payments made with BPAY the next working day after they are made. "With credit card payments, it can take two or three days to hit our account," she says.

Importantly, Krahnen says implementing BPAY was a simple process. "Our programmers are in the US, where cheques are the predominant payment method, so we had to explain to them what BPAY is. Once they got it, all they had to do was the coding, place the logo on our templates and do a test batch of payments. It wasn’t an onerous task at all."

Overall, she says the best thing about BPAY is she doesn’t have to think about it – it just works. "We don’t need to interact with BPAY at all, which is fantastic for someone like me who has so many demands on my time."

Says Krahnen "It’s a simple system you don’t have to touch. Payments just turn up in our account. We’ve never had an incorrect customer reference number. I would absolutely recommend it to any business."

Kicking goals with our Letterbox Man campaign

More people planning to use BPAY View; awareness levels up

Remember the Letterbox Man campaign we ran in late 2013? You might have seen on TV, in newspapers and online. The poor guy was upset because so many people had switched to receiving their bills electronically with BPAY View that Letterbox Man was pretty much out of a job.

The results from the campaign are in and it was a real success. The campaign saw a rise in awareness levels, with 38% of bill payers now more aware of BPAY View, compared to 33% before the campaign.

More importantly, we saw a 17% uplift in registrations over the campaign period. The proportion of consumers registering for multiple bills also increased from 43% to 44%. This success was also due in part to Member participation, with a record 42 Financial Institutions participating in staff and consumer campaigns.

Other results from the campaign also indicate that it was well received. After the campaign, 64% of people who already use BPAY View said they would consider signing up for more bills. An impressive 42% of people who pay bills are now interested in using BPAY View in the future. In addition, 52% of bill payers thought the campaign was engaging and motivating – especially young people, an important demographic.

We’re thrilled with the results, but don’t think this is the last you’ll see of BPAY View in the media. We have plans to run more campaigns later this year and we’ll update you on exactly what we’ve got planned in future editions of the newsletter.

Switch to the new BPAY logo now

Billers have until June 2014 to make the change

BPAY has a fresh new logo. Therefore, all bills or invoices must now include the new logo. In addition, any digital or printed marketing materials that have the BPAY logo – for instance, web sites, flyers and other collateral will need to change to the new logo by June 2014.

Please visit the BPAY web site to download the new Brand Guidelines.

For more information, please visit http://www.bpay.com.au/Business/Large-Business/Help/Brand-Guidelines-Logos.aspx or contact the BPAY Marketing Team at marketing@bpay.com.au

Have you got a BPAY story to tell?

Wanted: excellent BPAY businesses to profile on our website

BPAY is now seeking interest from businesses of all sizes who would be happy to be profiled on our website. We are hoping to develop video or written case studies on businesses using BPAY or BPAY View.

So if BPAY or BPAY View has helped your business by making the payment process easier, simplified the invoicing system or reduced overheads, then we’re keen to hear from you.

All you need to do to tell us you’re interested is:

Then we’ll be in touch to arrange a convenient time to interview you.