Do you still depend on monthly paper bills received via snailmail? Soon, you may be able to pay those bills by using your smartphone to photograph them along with either a personal check or credit card.
While many people already pay monthly bills--for utilities, credit cards and other loans--by logging onto either a bank's or the biller's website, Mitek's new Mobile Photo Payments technology targets people who don't want to bother with logins and passwords as well as billers who prefer to deal directly with customers (as opposed to a bank or bill-pay service).
Available as either an Android or iOS app or via a mobile browser, Mobile Photo Payments extracts billing information from a photograph of a paper bill, and gets payment information from a photograph of a paper check (made out to the biller in the amount of the payment) or a credit card (for which you must manually enter the three- or four-digit security code).
Mobile Photo Payments uses some of the same image processing technology Mitek pioneered for mobile check deposits and account creation. In fact, Mitek has already deployed mobile bill payment for financial institutions, but Mobile Photo Payments is the first service of its kind for billers themselves, who benefit by bypassing the use of financial institutions as intermediaries.
Mitek says its research finds that some consumers feel paying billers directly using a mobile app gives them greater control over their finances. Mobile apps also appeal to younger consumers, the company says.
Mitek says a "leading cable, telecom and media company" is the first to roll out the technology, but its agreement with the company does not let them disclose its name.