1 Issue 14 BPAY launches new CRN functionality Intelligent CRNs now available to Billers BPAY has introduced new functionality within its 'Customer Reference Number' system which delivers significant benefits to both the Biller and their customers. Called Intelligent Customer Reference Numbers (icrn), the new feature enables Billers to only accept payments made for the correct amount and/or by the due date. icrns are ideal for those organisations requiring payment of the exact amount stated on the bill by a certain date for an agreement to be valid, such as Billers operating within the insurance and law enforcement industries. The amount the customer pays and/or the date of payment can be fixed by the Biller and verified by the payer institution at the time of payment, ensuring only valid payments are accepted. icrns save the Biller time and effort returning money to their customer. BPAY's Business Liaison Manager, Alan Priestley, said icrns were introduced last month following feedback from Billers seeking greater functionality. "It's a sophisticated tool giving Billers more control, and for that reason we expect it to attract new Billers to the Scheme," he said. "In the past, BPAY hasn't been a totally viable payment option for some organisations because of the inability to control the amount and timing of customer payments. The creation of icrns will help some Billers to overcome legal and insurance issues which have previously been a barrier to the adoption of BPAY," said Mr Priestley. Insurance agreements, for example, may be invalid if an underpayment or late payment has been made by the consumer. Law enforcement agencies may require fines to be paid by a certain date to prevent further action. icrns protect consumers too. The feature removes the risk of errors or penalties and eliminates scenarios where consumers think they have paid for a product or service, such as car insurance, only to discover their policy was invalid when they try to make a claim. Customers are immediately notified of any invalid payments. Members interested in icrns should contact Keith Brown, GM BPAY Scheme & Operations on (02) or him on Super success for Short & Sweet BPAY campaign captures the imagination of Australia's young people
2 This year, February 14 wasn't just about romance. It was the day we launched 'Short & Sweet', our second campaign targeting Australia's youth. The competition targeted Gen Y, a generation which research suggests surprisingly relies on over-the-counter payment methods. It aimed to raise awareness of BPAY among this audience and keep the Scheme front of mind for when they begin paying bills more regularly in the future. BPAY Short & Sweet was a fun expression of our core benefit-reducing the laborious process of paying bills into something much shorter. That's why the competition was as quick to enter as it is to make a BPAY payment. Australia's youth were invited to write a love poem, short story, recipe or film synopsis in 120 characters or less via SMS, Twitter or the campaign website for their chance to win cash prizes. More than 50,000 people visited the competition website. And this year we witnessed an almost five-fold increase in the number of competition entries compared to last year, with more than 3,000 entries received. Thousands of Australia's young people expressed their love, shared a culinary tip, gave us a film review or got creative with a short story. The judging panel had a challenging job filtering through the entries to determine the best five and overall winner for each category. And the most popular category we hear you ask? Love poem attracted over 36 per cent of responses, indicating Australia's youth are keen to express their love, whether it's Valentine's Day or not. In terms of the tactical objectives of the campaign, these have all been exceeded. The Usage and Attitudes study will be used to measure whether we have made that all important shift in awareness and consideration among Gen Y. This study will be complete in October And the winning entries are... Love poem (Gretchen): "My love for you is like chewing gum on a shoe. It's just so easy to get stuck on you!" Film Synopsis (Justin): "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis: The original wardrobe malfunction" Recipe (Brent): "1. Take anything 2. Wrap in bacon" Short story (Denise): "The last person in the world jumped from the 40th floor. As he went past the 10th floor, he heard the phone ring!" Not only did the Short & Sweet campaign attract a record number of entries, but it also clearly reached the target market. Love poem winner, 26-year-old Gretchen Johnson is a Griffith University graduate, while Justin Chau who won the Film Synopsis category, is a medical student who plans to spend his winnings overseas. 24-year-old Brent Farmer, winner of the Recipe category, will enjoy a new TV courtesy of the prize money. Congratulations to our four very creative winners! BPAY launches new biller category BPAY introduces Fixed Payment Billers BPAY is launching a new category, the Fixed Payment Biller, giving Billers the authority to accept only those payments which meet certain criteria. Where the payment is made after the due date, and not for the exact amount stated on the bill, Fixed Payment Billers will have the capability to return payments to customers through the Scheme. You may have just read about Intelligent Customer Reference Numbers (icrn) in our first article. While icrn payments can be declined at the time of payment, payments made to Fixed Payment Billers are processed and the money refunded to the customer. BPAY's Business Liaison Manager, Alan Priestley, says the Fixed Payment Biller option is an ideal solution for Billers unable to utilise icrn for technical reasons. "It's also an immediate and viable interim measure for Billers in the process of implementing icrn," he said. Mr. Priestley said the new Biller category was developed in response to Biller feedback. "Some Billers asked for the ability to return
3 money via the Scheme and we have delivered that capability," he said. The introduction of Fixed Payment Billers follows a successful pilot BPAY recently completed with the Department of Transport WA (refer to the article below) and approval from BPAY's Management Committee to rollout this functionality across the Scheme. Like icrn, the new Biller category is expected to be popular among Billers in the insurance and law enforcement industries and will attract a wider audience to the BPAY Scheme. It resolves some of the legal and insurance issues which previously prevented these businesses from offering BPAY to their customers. Requests to become a Fixed Payment Biller must be approved by the BPAY Management Committee and only payments to approved Fixed Payment Billers can be returned via the Scheme. To find out more about Fixed Payment Billers, please contact Keith Brown, GM BPAY Scheme & Operations on (02) or him on Case Study: Department of Transport Fixed Payment Biller trial a great success BPAY's new Fixed Payment Biller initiative follows a highly successful six month pilot with the WA Government's Department of Transport (DoT). The DoT has a legislative requirement to only accept payments made by the due date and for the exact amount stated on the bill, which has previously prevented the organisation from offering BPAY as a payment option. The Commonwealth Bank's Bryan Hughes explained BPAY and the Commonwealth Bank worked together to develop the solution. "The Fixed Payment Biller initiative is the ideal solution for the DoT's requirements of only accepting payments meeting certain criteria. Until recently, this has been a barrier to DoT offering BPAY as a payment option on the six million vehicle and driver licencing invoices it issues annually," he said. The Department of Transport advises customers upfront that payments not meeting its criteria will be returned to them via the Scheme. "Should an incorrect payment be made, DoT can now decline the payment and know the funds will be returned to the correct person through the BPAY system," Hughes said. "If the funds were returned via cheque or EFT, they could only be returned to the registered vehicle owner and this may not be the person who made the payment." A trial of BPAY's new functionality was undertaken for six months, from October 2009 to March 2010, and the numbers certainly prove the popularity of BPAY among DoT's customer base. Well over 300,000 payments-representing around 10 per cent of DoT's total transactions-were made via BPAY during the trial period. Customers were offered the convenience of BPAY to pay 11 different invoice types, from driver licence renewals to vehicle licence transfers and infringement notices. The numbers are continuing to trend up, with BPAY payments now accounting for just over one in five of DoT's total transactions. BPAY provides an online payment option for customers wanting to pay from their cheque or savings account, and an alternative to paying via credit card. Hughes says the introduction of BPAY has also led to a decrease in the number of over-the-counter payments, with roughly 30 per cent of the take up of BPAY coming from over-the-counter payment options. "Clearly there is a strong demand for BPAY among DoT's customer base. Since BPAY was introduced, DoT has also seen a decline in the number of requests from customers wanting a BPAY payment option,"he said. "In the coming months we will be working with DoT to investigate additional opportunities for inclusion of BPAY as a payment option," he said.
4 Requests to become a Fixed Payment Biller must be assessed by the BPAY Management Committee. To learn more about this new capability, contact Keith Brown, GM BPAY Scheme & Operations on (02) or him on Member Profiling Bank of Queensland's Payment Systems Manager, Matthew Evans In this issue we profile Matthew Evans, Payment Systems Manager for the fast-growing Bank of Queensland. Matthew began serving on BPAY's Management Committee (MC) early last year. He brings to the role a wealth of domestic and international experience in payments and IT infrastructure, having worked abroad as a Senior Project Manager for American Express and a Principal Consultant at UK-based IT consultancy, PA Consulting. In this role, Matthew worked with the UK Government to launch the first Blackberry service meeting government security requirements, making the devices available for use in this sector. While smartphones are now commonplace, it was a significant milestone at the time. So what piece of technology can this IT guru not live without? His iphone? The Internet? Having been with the Bank of Queensland for almost two years, Matthew is responsible for Payment Scheme liaison, compliance and the Bank's broader payments strategy. Ensuring projects meet various compliance requirements is central to his role. "BPAY has grown to become an essential financial management tool for our household customer base, so it's no surprise we've seen usage rise in line with BPAY's growth," he says. "We're a little different to other Financial Institutions in that we only offer the BPAY Payer services directly to our retail customers so our focus may be slightly different to organisations which have Billers to manage." To get to know our MC Member a little better, we also threw a few light-hearted questions his way... "I couldn't be without my car," he said. "It's essential for exploring all corners of this amazing country." And what's the best and worst financial decision Matthew's ever made? "The best was buying my first house, and the worst would have to be selling it and buying the next one. My second place needed renovating and as all renovators soon discover, it's a labour of love requiring deeper pockets and more time than you could imagine," he said. 'Biller in a Box' Campaign broadens Westpac launches Easy BPAY BPAY's 'Biller in a Box' initiative, created to enable Financial Institutions to help their small to medium business customers adopt BPAY with ease, has continued to go from strength to strength since our recent update on the project at the end of last year. Long considered the domain of big business, SMEs are now capitalising on the benefits of the nation's most popular bill payment service thanks to BPAY's simplified sign up process. In February last year, Westpac launched its own form of Biller in a Box - 'Easy BPAY' - for its small business clients. Westpac's Ryan Campbell says Easy BPAY was the result of identifying an opportunity among this customer segment, where the previous offer was too cumbersome for them to implement. "We're reaching out to our small to medium sized business clients with an offer which adds value to their business, and they're telling us the simplified sign up package meets their needs," says Campbell. "The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with an average of 25 to 30 applications received weekly," he says. "We're also providing first hand support to small Billers, from completing the application form for them to helping generate or change their Check Digit formula once they're up and running."
5 Campbell says the biggest plus for Westpac's SME clients is the opportunity to offer their own customer base an additional payment channel. "And being associated with a brand such as BPAY adds credibility to their business," he said. Four Financial Institutions currently offer Biller in a Box with two more in the process of launching. The short form agreement was provided to all members Financial Institutions for use in the signing up process. BPAY's own small Biller campaign With the four major banks now offering 'Biller in a Box', BPAY is launching a promotional campaign aimed at small Billers to drive further awareness of the fast and simple sign up process. The campaign is designed to communicate how straightforward it has become for small businesses to begin offering BPAY and it is no longer solely the domain of big business. Starting late June, the campaign is targeting small businesses via web banners on the True Local and Flying Solo websites, sponsored key word searches, a small electronic direct mail campaign and advertisements within 106 local newspaper classifieds. The campaign will also incorporate public relations activity targeting eight online and print publications, with an independently prepared article by a freelance journalist incorporating interviews with small Billers who recently signed up to BPAY. Stay tuned for further campaign updates in our next edition. If you would like further information on Biller in Box, the campaign or would like to make it available at your Financial Institution, please contact BPAY Marketing on (02) or BPAY's mobile site proves a useful tool BPAY's mobile website visits higher than anticipated If we're in any doubt as to how fundamental the smartphone has become, then consider this: Australians would prefer to go without food for a day than be without their smartphones (source: news.com.au). The same study, on behalf of INQ Mobile, showed teenagers were particularly fanatical about their phones, preferring to lose their wallets instead. We send s, make flight bookings, search for restaurants and do our banking all in the time it takes to catch the train home from work. BPAY joined the shift in the way consumers seek information in February, launching our own smartphone-enabled website. In just a few short months the site has received some 17,900 hits-equating to 4 per cent of the traffic to the BPAY website. This is a number which we expect to grow in the upcoming months. The non-transactional site allows smartphone users to find out which bills can be paid via BPAY and which Financial Institutions offer BPAY and mobile banking. The new mobile site, a summarised version of the current BPAY site, is proving to be a handy resource as Australians increasingly expect mobile access to information on everything from banking and business to weather and entertainment.
6 To view the BPAY mobile site, go to: from your mobile phone. The BPAY Big Big milestones in the life of BPAY BPAY is launching a new category, the Fixed Payment Biller, giving Billers the authority to accept only those payments which meet certain criteria. Australians are big on big things. The big pineapple in Queensland, the big prawn and the big banana in New South Wales and the big koala in Victoria. We think BPAY has cemented itself as another 'big' alongside these well-loved Aussie icons. It's only the halfway point and already 2011 has produced some big moments in the history of BPAY. We've notched up some impressive milestones which we're proud to share with you... Biller Numbers Jump Back in 1997 a new brand entered the Australian market. 'BPAY' was a new concept in the payments industry with just 35 Billers. Businesses were quick to recognise the benefits of BPAY, and came on board in droves. Today-almost 15 years later-an impressive 20,000 Billers and over 20,000 Sub Billers now offer Australians the ease of paying via BPAY. Record-breaking Processing Millions of Australians have also become BPAY fans. The biggest processing day in the Scheme's history arrived on 27 April this year-a whopping 2.4 million payments worth a staggering A$2.1 billion. March has proven to be the highest processing month in BPAY history. In BPAY's record month, million payments were processed-equal to more than one payment for every Australian. BPAY View Kicking Goals As BPAY View fast approaches its 10th birthday, we continue to witness the environmental benefits of this increasingly popular technology with over 2.2 million registrations to date. A record one million BPAY View bill summaries were processed and presented in March alone. BPAY moves from strength to strength as its anticipated volumes will keep growing and become entrenched as a key payments tool for businesses. BPAY has gone from strength to strength, becoming entrenched as a key payments tool for businesses as it continues to exceed expectations.
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